After the Power…Labor Day

Hurricane Irene made a mess of the last week of summer vacation up and down the East Coast.  Here in NJ, as in other areas, millions were affected with flooding, loss of power, downed trees and wires, and just a general mess!  We went without power for five days, and tried valiantly to preserve as much of the food in our refrigerator and freezer in coolers, replacing the ice twice a day.  But in the end, most of it had to be tossed out.  Note to self: Buy a generator!

A few foods that had mostly defrosted, but not quite, I cooked.  A corn chowder in my crock pot used many of the vegetables.  A turkey breast was allowed to fully defrost, and roasted along with the last of the carrots and potatoes. Defrosted chicken parts became a chicken soup, using up the leeks, parsley, dill, kale, parsnips and a sweet potato.

After scrubbing the appliances (that put the labor in Labor Day!) inside and out, it was time to restock.  This necessitated trips to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to replace all the dairy products, produce, fish and meat.

The refrigerator was restocked with:

  • Unsalted butter
  • 2% milk
  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Feta cheese
  • Shredded mozzarella, swiss and cheddar cheeses
  • Laughing Cow cheese
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • American cheese
  • Gruyere
  • Heavy cream
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Fresh pasta
  • Ground beef
  • Scallops (tomorrow’s dinner)
  • Local organic eggs

The Produce:

  • Baby Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Flat parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Dill
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Summer Squash
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Baby Bella mushrooms
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Seedless watermelon
  • Tomatoes

For the freezer:

  • Trader Joe’s Mushroom Risotto
  • Trader Joe’s Gnocchi with gorgonzola
  • Trader Joe’s Lime chicken patties
  • Rib steak
  • Boneless chicken breasts
  • Cut up chicken
  • Large Shrimp
  • Mahi Mahi

While I was at it, I decided I might as well reorganize my pantry, and it’s now all neatly categorized by meal and course.

Next up, I think I’ll organize my spices and order fresh from Penzey’s, my favorite spice shop.

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