Beefaroni, baked beans and Funyuns

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, August 25, 2011

Being from this area, you become an expert on how to survive in hurricanes and other kinds of rough weather. And while it goes without saying that you need to make sure your property is secure, you also have to attend to the truly important things when disaster strikes. Naturally, Suffolkians, I’m talking about making sure you’ve got the right bunker snacks to hold you over.

Believe me, people, I’ve made my share of mistakes when it came time to batten down the hatches with food items that, though they seemed savory and appropriate at the time, turned out to be huge mistakes. First of all, sardines are not the post-disaster vittles you’ll crave once the area has become drenched in what sadly will smell like a sweaty whale’s bath water. If you’re like me, the second you pop the lid on a can of those otherwise tasty treasures after a storm hits, you’ll be very grateful that the plumbing wasn’t affected by the storm.

Also, making sandwiches isn’t all it’s cracked up to be if the power goes out. It may work out nicely the first day or so but, without proper refrigeration, ham and mayonnaise can go very bad, very quickly. So, scarf it down early on but don’t be the brave soul I was and go beyond that point. Sadly, I owe one of my bouts with food poisoning to that very scenario. So, be smart about that. The loved ones who may be trapped in your home with you indefinitely will thank you dearly.

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And while I’m on the subject of ham, NO SPAM! I love Spam, but in a disaster situation, the look of this gelatinous pork product may be fine for those with strong stomachs but, it is others who may ruin this meat-like treat for you forever. So, take my advice and make Spam a fair-weather friend as a general rule.

So, what does a foodie recommend to stock one’s selves with in times of disaster? For one, there’s no better friend in a time of crisis than the man, the myth, the master: Chef Boyardee. Nothing screams comfort like a big old hug one feels when you crack a can of Beefaroni (by far, the finest of all the ‘ronis) or ravioli. A can of the chef’s finest comforted me as my nerves were rattled when a giant tree branch fell to rest just past my Honda in 2003. Plus, the canned pastas also boast a couple servings of vegetables in each can, so it’s almost health food.

Beyond the Boyardee, consider canned baked beans, beans and franks, and chili. They may not be ideal for the people sharing space with you, but they provide protein and all you have to do is pop the top and grab a spoon.

And for treats, throw some Funyuns, chips and Hostess pastries into your bunker. None of them is nutritious or at all good for you, but you need comfort foods in times of crisis. But if it makes you feel better, diabetics, Funyuns have very little sugar. So grab a fistful. And just remember, much like holidays, there are no diets in disaster situations.

Whatever you choose to stock your home with before Hurricane Irene hits, just remember to stay safe. Keep your loved ones safe and fed until things settle down.

And if the conditions happen to shut you in for a spell, hopefully everyone will find themselves safe and sound with a few cases of Beefaroni, baked beans and Funyuns to share with loved ones. And it doesn’t get much better than that.