Speaking of hurricanes, who stuck around home? This thread was started with mickeygee, whose "hubby has already requested chili... but I also wanted to do a cookie, perhaps a shortbread, and was trying to think hurricane themed cookie or cupcake." The resulting comments make for nothing less than a hurricane-cooking-advice supersource, with 88 comments ranging from opinions on whether gas ranges work when the power is out (consensus: Some do; newer ranges tend not to for safety reasons) to Chowhounds recommending simply cooking things that will taste good cold. (Thanks to former Florida resident sunshine842 for that one—I agree, and made a great, dairy-free pasta with raw tomato sauce that was tasty at room temperature, too.)
arashall is thinking along the same lines, and suggests starting by eating things that will go bad, and then working through the freezer "in order of perishability." Smart words! tcamp is on board with that, and reports that when Isabel came through DC, the grill was pulled out, food was pooled with neighbors, and "stupendous quantities of alcohol consumed." I loved two ideas in particular: Terrie H. suggested cooking green beans and potatoes in advance and making a niçoise salad, "which is wonderful this time of year with or without power." She likes hers with precooked chicken, but high-quality tuna from a can would probably work just as nicely. The other excellent suggestion, which got some thumbs-ups from fellow hounds, was biondanonima suggesting a Dark and Stormy cupcake—either ginger cake with rum icing or rum cake with ginger icing. It’s the sort of thread worth skimming and bookmarking, because the real stormy season is ahead of New York and New Jersey residents, and it’s always good to review ideas before losing power—especially if you’re used to having the city’s wonderful restaurants serve as your kitchen!