Monday, August 29, 2011

Gluten-Free Food in the “To Go” Bag

Prepping for Hurricane Irene was important because I live in a coastal town with a brook that cuts through the town and empties into the Long Island Sound. I’ve been told that the brook was forced to wind and bend through the down town, past the Middle School/High School campus and eventually find its way to the Marina and out.

What I have learned over the years is that this pretty little brook becomes a raging class-three rapid that runs straight through streets, buildings, football fields, basements and neighborhoods. It happened again with Hurricane Irene.

I have also learned that big, old Maples do not “bend and snap” the way palm trees do, thus leaving us with downed power lines galore. That happened again with Hurricane Irene as well.

This time, I was unbelievably prepared, even as my children mocked me for having “to go” groceries and three cases of water right by the front door…there was even dog food ready to go. I had written down last minute “tasks” for each kid on post-in notes so in the scramble to go, if we had to, then everyone would scramble in a productive manor…I did not let them know about these, how much eye rolling can a mom take?

I checked my supplies, and we still had plenty of LED candles and batteries from the December 26th snow storm! Everything was placed on the kitchen table and everyone went to bed Saturday night with a flashlight.

In all reality, if we had to leave, we all would have been eating Glutino pretzels, ThinkThin and Pure Fit bars, Trader Joe’s fruit crushers, Sesmark crackers, Tasty Bite Madras Lentils, tuna and peanut butter. I decided to pack mostly gluten-free food in the bags because it seemed easier in the long run.

We would have also been eating a lot of homemade baked goods too. Out of sheer boredom on Saturday, my kids made enough baked goods to open a bakery. Now I need to re-stock my gluten-free mixes and go for a jog to work off the calories from the brownies and pumpkin muffins and cookies that have been tempting me for two days.

We were very lucky and kept our power and had little water damage, so now one case of water goes with one daughter to her dorm room on Thursday, another goes with a daughter to a soccer tournament and the third will be used over the next few weeks for various tennis outings, soccer and football practices . The sun has returned to the sky and my “to go” food has been unpacked and returned to the pantry.

To those who are dealing with major damage, I hope help is on the way and that things return to normal as soon as possible. To those like me, who were prepared, but dodged one this time, I feel that I learned something new and will be even more prepared when the next storm comes around.

Kendall Egan

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