For all the fun we have at the Canadian Red Cross showing Canadians how to make scrumptious meals with non-perishables and no power, we seem to have forgotten to make disaster dining delicious for disaster responders themselves.
Since arriving in New Jersey to help the American Red Cross assist thousands of families affected by Sandy, I’ve eaten some very strange concoctions. Think more disaster than dining. Now, a disclaimer: I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a child, and, somehow, cold beef ravioli from a can hasn’t been enough to win me over to the dark side since arriving here. My chances of an epicurean disaster dining experience while on a massive disaster response operation have definitely been hampered by my dietary limitations.
Here are some interesting (and some terrifying) insights into the diet of a vegetarian disaster guru:
1) Coleslaw burgers are a-ok!
When presented with half of the required fixings for a burger (buns and meat, check; condiments, hmm only mustard; veggies to adorn said burger, nope), I opted for a glob of coleslaw on a bun, adorned with mustard and corn chips. The slaw was creamy and fresh-tasting, the corn chips added a nice crunch and zesty ranch flavour, and the mustard was the je ne sais quoi that brought it all together. The end result had a satisfying sloppy-joe-like messiness that was the envy of many Red Crossers passing by with their dry meat-mustard-bun combo.
2) Instant Yakisoba with powdered fake cheddar sauce is a thing.
It is not a good thing. It is not a tasty thing. I’m not even sure I would call it a ‘food’ thing. It is a thing I am thankful to have never seen in my home country. But it is definitely a thing. I ate it with more mustard, obviously.
3) Caffeine and antacids are your friends.
There’s nothing like being exhausted to make you crave delicious and nutritious food. ‘Delicious’ is not on the menu, so I’ve instead decided to never get tired. Tea is my friend. Given these decisions (tea, mustard, overwork), antacids are also my new friend. I prefer the strawberry flavoured ones. They remind me of fresh fruit.
Here’s a selection of snacks set out for disaster responders
Filed under: Emergency, Food Friday | Tagged: Disaster Dining, Sandy | 2 Comments »