pioneer cooking

wineNot to infringe upon the Pioneer Woman’s copyright or anything, but I was in power outage hell for about 17 hours, starting last night about dinner time and lasting straight through past breakfast today, and although I’m sure I had more conveniences than the early settlers, it sure as hell felt like pioneer cooking.

My brand new, super Viking coffee maker didn’t help me today as I was standing with a candle in the dark kitchen at 4:45 am lighting the propane burner to boil water for tea, I can tell you that. My kingdom for a French press! But alas, I don’t own one, so tea it was for me until the power came back.

Though all in all–when I wasn’t worried that the thousands of dollars of salt water and tropical fish in our 4 tanks were going to expire without their filters/heaters running, when I wasn’t calculating exactly how much longer we could go without refrigeration before I had to toss everything in the 2 freezers and one fridge, when I wasn’t thinking that I really needed to take a shower but there was barely enough water left in the pipes to both brush my teeth and make the tea since we have a well–I really wasn’t doing too badly.

With the gas stovetop, I was fine to cook a whole bunch of things. Last night I had a pot of homemade chicken soup on when the power left us. I had a package of stew chunks defrosting for today (though really, everything was defrosting now, wasn’t it?) and I could have made Beef Stroganoff without the electric as well. And the chicken breast I had in the fridge could have easily been thrown into a skillet or cooked on my stovetop cast iron griddle.

No I didn’t have the microwave, or the electric oven, or the coffeemaker, but without the stress and worry, the candlelight and rangetop cooking over gas really wouldn’t have been so bad…but that’s only because I was smart last year and sprung for the iPad with the 3G connection because along with the lights, went the internet, and on my release day for Flanked, no less!

So armed with a glass of wine and my iPad 3G, I was able to sit in the dark and at least keep up with the happenings on Twitter and Facebook and stalk my best seller rank on

All right, maybe it wasn’t so much like the pioneers after all…

Cat Johnson