This is basically a variation on the theme of "Prep Practice", when a family shuts off the breakers and pretends no gas is available... but with guests. I think it would be fun to get together and have some peak chat, swap recipes and discuss how we can help each other and our community. I want to do it!
I started thinking about how I would go about hosting such a party. If the scenario is that the gas is all out, should I require everyone to show up on foot, on bike, or in a stroller? Should I imagine that the water is still running? How about electricity? Do I have to cook on the campstove / Sun Oven? Do we have to wear black? Whatever the scenario, I draw the line at requiring my guests to use a latrine.
Although my family does store some unusual things like wheat berries, we mostly eat what we store and store what we eat - even though this means dating every can we buy and rotating food. Some things are more successfully rotated than others. The canned pineapple seems to have been in the pantry awhile. We don't have any MRE's or canned bacon, but we do have powdered milk and powdered eggs.
What would a meal plan look like for a Doomer Dinner Party? With local, seasonal, food, it always depends on what's available. We don't store any meat, so the meals would be pretty much vegetarian. I've never cooked for more than four people without using tortillas or lasagna - so a potluck would definitely be a good choice for my dinner party. Is that enough caveats?
Here are some of my thoughts:
What's in storage (3 months): Wheat, beans (kidney, garbanzo, black, black eye peas), rice, basmati rice, canned tomatoes, canned corn, green beans and peas, pasta (several kinds), pasta sauce, salsa, olives, honey, sugar, baking stuff, spices, vinegars, olive and canola oil, shortening, canned peaches and pineapples, dried raisins and cranberries, oatmeal, peanut butter, powdered milk, powdered eggs. Some frozen stuff. Alcohol, tea, coffee, and homebrewed beer.
Early Spring (Feb/Mar/April)What's growing (in my garden): Overwintered kale, parsley, carrots and broccoli. Cilantro, rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, chives, sorrel, sage, dandelions.
What's still fresh in storage (in Feb anyway): Potatoes and butternut squash.
Meal idea: Butternut squash and black bean soup. Mashed potatoes. Some kind of kale side dish.
Drinks: Homebrewed beer and mint tea.
Dessert: Canned peaches with homemade yogurt from powdered milk.
Late Spring (April/May)
What's growing: Lettuce, onions, beets, spinach. Overwintered kale, parsley, carrots. Rosemary, cilantro, thyme, mint, oregano, chives, sorrel, sage.
What's still fresh from storage: Probably nothing.
Meal idea: Mixed greens salad with baby carrots and beets. Basmati rice with tomato/chickpea sauce.
Drinks: Homebrewed beer and mint tea.
Dessert: Oatmeal cookies.
What's growing (I hope): Tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, okra, garlic, butternut squash, bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, malabar spinach. Peaches, blackberries, plums (?). Basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, chives, sorrel, sage.
Meal idea: Pesto pasta with green veggies. Minestrone. Crusty artisan bread (if I can ever figure it out).
Drinks: Mojitos, peach iced tea.
Dessert: Something with the millions of peaches that will surely be around.
Fall (October, November):
What's still growing: We have late frosts here, so mostly still everything from summer, plus maybe some fall plantings of lettuce and kale. Apples (crossing fingers for small harvest this year).
What's fresh that's going into storage: Potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, apples.
Meal idea: Confetti bean salad. Potato soup with kale. Roasted root veggies with garlic yogurt sauce for dipping.
Drinks: Something warm, with rum. Coffee.
Dessert: Apple crumble.
Winter (December, January, February):
What's still growing: Kale, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
What's fresh in storage: Potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, apples.
Meal idea: Vegetable Vindaloo.
Drinks: Homebrew and iced tea.
Dessert: Spicy baked apples or apple cake.
Now doesn't that sound fun? Have your guests bring a salad or desert or a side dish, and it won't take so much work. I challenge you all to find a peak oil friend by the end of June and have a Doomer Dinner Party! I'll draw for a prize (TBD) from the entrants in June. Comment if you want to join the doomy fun!
1. "Party" must include one guest (spouses and partner and children not included). That's it!
2. Can actually be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Doesn't have to be formal ;).
3. Meal should be comprised entirely (as much as possible) of food growing in your garden or food that could be foraged within walking/biking distance (this counts CSA if it is close by), and long-term food storage you have on-hand.
4. It's up to you whether you go "whole-hog" by not using electricity or lighting.
5. It's up to you whether you make it a potluck or make all the food yourself. Potluck items should be made from garden/storage food as well, IF possible.
6. The point is to build community, make friends, talk about peak oil and food storage, and see what it's like to cook out of your food storage! And to have good doomy fun!
**Most of my ideas for seasonal cooking come from the cookbook Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Thanks to AR for the inspiration for the post!