Food & Drink

Food stuff

Y2COOKING

Are you prepared for the dreaded Y2K bug? Some people are worried that necessities such as electricity, gas and water could shut down at the start of the new year because of a computer malfunction. If so, we’ll probably survive. But we can’t survive without food. Even basic foodstuffs may be hard to come by if the local grocery store is closed because of a lack of electricity.

Experts suggest you store at least enough food to get you and your family through the long New Year’s weekend. Here’s a small shopping list of items to have on hand.

Water: Store it in clean gallon jugs. It’s essential for drinking and for preparing other kinds of food.

Ice: If it’s cold enough, keep it outside. It can keep food fresh, and is another source of drinking water.

Canned food: Fruit, vegetables, meats and even baby foods are good choices. Select some kinds that can be eaten without cooking. Make sure you have a manual can opener!

Cereals: Can be eaten dry.

Instant noodles: Only need hot water.

Dried fruit.

Milk powder and drink mixes.

Candy bars, cookies, chips: They’re good calorie sources.

Beer: Also a calorie source.

Pet food: Don’t forget your pets!

These foods can last for a while even if refrigerators don’t work, and they don’t require much cooking.

If you still want to cook but are worried the Y2K problems may last awhile, J. Candy Arnold’s Y2Kitchen: The Joy of Cooking in a Crisis (Summit Resources, $24.95, 304 pp.) tells you all you need to know about cooking with less sophisticated equipment. It also provides shopping tips, a long-term food storage list, and more than 600 delicious and healthy recipes.

Arnold suggests that instead of waiting until the last minute, we should shop right now for emergency food. If you increase your normal weekly shopping by about 10 percent, you can ease the financial burden over the next few months, while building up a big food supply.

Arnold also suggests a number of items to have on hand if you need to cook without gas or electricity:

• Fireplace, camp stove, barbecue, wood stove

• Firewood, kindling, charcoal briquettes, propane

• Disposable knives, forks, spoons, paper plates, foil pie pans, food storage bags

• Matches

You can also check the online Survival Store, where you can find all the stuff you may need. It even offers a one-year survival kit for two, which claims to have varied and delicious meals – just add water!

Of course, there’s the chance nothing unusual will happen at midnight on New Year’s. If so, these special preparations won’t go to waste. Have a party, where you can serve delicious dried fruit and canned meat to your friends, and celebrate a new year without the Y2K bug! –Yu-Ru Lee

TREATS

October is Michigan Wine Month, so do your bit for this state’s vintners and sip some local vintages. Call 517-373-1104 for a list of restaurants showcasing Michigan wines, or visit this Web site for more information. … Help the Coalition on Temporary Shelter at a Holiday Wine and Food Tasting, this Friday, Oct. 22, from 7-9 p.m. at the Southfield Manor (Telegraph and 10 Mile in Southfield). Tickets are $30 in advance at any Merchant of Vino/Whole Foods Market, or call 248-433-3000.

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