Cooking after the cataclysm

February 20, 2009

If your favorite cookbook doesn’t include instructions on how to dress and cook a squirrel, it’s not going to be much use after the global climate change cataclysm.

You’re going to need older cookbooks, with recipes based on local ingredients.

Listen here, or read post #35 Buy an old cookbook.

Right click here to download the mp3.

[El Wala Wala (Hey Dude) by Hakim]


What else can you do with locally-grown veggies?

November 21, 2008

After the cataclysm, we’ll all have to find unexpected uses for familiar things after the cataclysm. The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra is already prepared:

Just be prepared – the veggies that grow in your ‘hood today may not grow there post-cataclysm. For related info to help you create your own veggie music, check out tips #8, #18 and #22.

Thank you, Cheryl, for posting the link!


#35 Buy an old cookbook

October 13, 2008

If your favorite cookbook doesn’t include instructions on how to dress and cook a squirrel, it’s not going to be much use after the global climate change cataclysm.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Cooking is cultural, sociological, environmental and historical. What we cook depends on what’s available in our local grocery store or market. As globalization and international trade have grown exponentially in recent years, we’ve grown used to seeing ingredients from around the world on local grocery shelves, like Bulgarian feta, Italian proscuitto and Philippine tilapia.

As ingredients have changed, so have cookbooks, which was nice while the global supply chain still functioned. When it collapses and you have to rely on locally-grown ingredients, your fancy-pants modern cookbook will be next to useless. Well, I suppose you could use it to start a fire.

Luckily, I have the 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking on my shelf. It includes detailed instructions for how to dress and cook squirrel, opossum, porcupine, raccoon, muskrat, woodchuck, beaver, armadillo, and seven different ways to prepare rabbit. Plus recommended side dishes.

The 2006 edition only offers this advice: “Small game can be cooked following most recipes for chicken.” To survive on local game post-cataclysm, most of us will need more guidance than this.

I mean, the recipe for moo shu tempeh looks tasty – I’ll give it a try it while I can still buy the ingredients. But the odds of finding shiitake mushrooms, wood ear fungus, sesame oil, canned bamboo shoots and tempeh on the grocery shelf after the cataclysm are slim.

I’m keeping my old fashioned cookbook with old fashioned local ingredients in my cataclysm survival kit.


The sidewalk ends where the grass begins

August 19, 2008

No matter how much or how often you water the sidewalk, you’ll never be able to grow anything in cement. Listen to the podcast, watch the video or read the post to learn more.

To download the mp3, right click here.

[Wonda Wonda by Ndere Troupe]


#27 You can’t grow anything in cement

August 15, 2008

As I’ve written on this blog before, you’ll have to grow a lot of your own food after the global climate change cataclysm. A recent stroll through my neighborhood made me realize that many people in the modern era are not aware of one crucial principle of growing fruits, vegetables and other plants:

No matter how much or how often you water the sidewalk, you’ll never be able to grow anything in cement.

Ditto for asphalt. Take a look and see what I mean:

You can grow plants in dirt, potting soil, water and sometimes even air. But never, ever in cement. Don’t waste your water on the sidewalk or the street. It will give you nothing but heartache and an empty belly.


How to survive the coming caffeine cataclysm

July 21, 2008

Where will you get your caffeine fix after the global climate change cataclysm? Not just you, what about everyone else in the northern hemisphere? Think of it – grumpy, headachy nations with their finger on nuclear hair-triggers, all in caffeine withdrawal. Listen here and learn how to prepare. Or read the post here.

To download the mp3, right click here.

[Loveless Couple by GTS]


#24 Getting your fix after the cataclysm

July 15, 2008
How will you get your fix after the cataclysm?

How will you get your fix after the cataclysm?

As I sit here sipping my daily cup of tea, it suddenly dawns on me: Where will I get my caffeine fix after the global climate change cataclysm?

This thought should strike fear in the hearts of all who live in the northern hemisphere. It’s not your own withdrawal you need to worry about either. It’s all those other people who haven’t planned ahead for the cataclysm. Think of it – the entire population of United States and Canada in caffeine withdrawal.

Grumpy, headachy nations with their finger on nuclear hair-triggers, and no access to their daily dose of joe.

Sure, they’ve got chicory in New Orleans, but have you ever tried to get a buzz off that stuff?

There will be a few mitigating circumstances. For one thing, lots of people won’t survive the cataclysm so they won’t be around. But because less of the planet will be habitable, we’ll all be crammed closer together as we suffer our withdrawal. A recipe for disaster, to be sure. It is possible that with weather patterns changing we might be able to grow coffee and tea in places where we can’t now. But those plants will take a long time to get to the point where they can produce an adequate fix for all who need it.

You could add coffee to your cataclysm survival kit, but you just can’t pack enough to meet your needs forever. The better way to prepare for the cataclysm is to break the caffeine habit now. Say adios to your morning cuppa. Taper it off slowly if you must; go cold turkey if you dare.

Switch to a morning beverage that grows locally. Grow your own mint and rose hips for tea. No caffeine, but it’s better for you, and won’t require global shipping and logistics to get it in your cup.

Coffee photo by Arnaud Gaillard