Since 2016, we’ve been hit by a hurricane a year (with the exception of one year). So we’re getting pretty good at shopping for perishable items, making sure we know where our solar charger and flashlights are, and I have a huge checklist of what needs to be brought inside and tied down. When the reports start getting bad, our local stores start selling out of water. And of course, bread goes next. A few hurricane seasons ago, I put together this list of what you can do with bread during a storm.
Because everyone buys bread. But not everyone knows why.
Bottled water makes sense. Any debris that’s agitated by the storm can end up in the reservoirs, making tap water undrinkable for a while. Since it can possibly be a few days before that water is safe for consumption, it’s recommended to have a gallon of water per day per person in your home, for three days.
Quick math: That’s eight 16 oz. bottles of water per person per day. So three days worth means a case of 24 bottles of 16 oz. water per person, if you’re stocking up.
But why buy bread during hurricane preparation? What can you do with bread during a storm? Sure, bread is perishable, but bread will last quite a while outside of your fridge. And if you lose power, you could also lose the contents of your fridge. And you definitely want to keep your fridge closed to keep the cool air inside.
So that bread on your counter suddenly becomes a lot more important.
What You Can Do With Bread During A Storm
Cold cuts and condiments are out because you don’t want to keep opening and closing the fridge. But peanut butter sandwiches are great. Peanut butter is shelf stable and has protein, which you might be lacking if you usually get yours from meat.
You could also go with tuna sandwiches. Mine usually have mayo and eggs, so you can’t make my tuna sandwiches. But you can make one without mayo. Just use olive oil as a substitute. Just make sure you packed a manual can opener in your hurricane survival kit so you can open that tuna.
And, if you want another sandwich idea, you can mash chickpeas to mimic tuna salad as well.
Or, make roll ups. Flatten a piece of bread with a rolling pin. Spread peanut butter and marshmallow spread or hazelnut spread on the flattened bread. Then, roll them and enjoy this super tasty snack.
This is actually a thing. If you search “grilled bread” online, you’ll find recipe results. Which is silly. Put it on the grill. The end. But, honestly, you’re not going to just eat grilled bread.
Top your grilled bread with tomatoes and balsamic dressing, which sounds amazing. You can even add a few thin slices of red onion. And none of that lives in your fridge.
During a storm, you may lose power and you probably won’t be able to use your oven. So stock up on charcoal and fill your propane tanks because grilling may be your only way to have hot food.
Keep your cookies fresh
This, also, is a thing. When you bake cookies, putting a slice of bread in with them helps them last longer. So if you’re like me and part of your storm preparedness involves baking treats (because I need sweets and snacks during the storm), and your storm is dragging on, stick a slice of bread in with your cookies. They’ll stay fresh through the storm … if they last that long anyway.
Let me stress this again, though, for those of you in the back who like cookies. Bake them before the storm hits. You might lose power and then don’t want to open the fridge to get out your eggs and you can’t use your oven to bake cookies.
Stick the bread in a bag
When I buy bread, we usually stick it directly in the fridge because it takes us a really long time to eat a full loaf of sandwich bread. So we put our bread in the fridge to keep it fresh.
You can’t do that if the storm knocks the power out. So, to keep it fresh, stick bread in a ziptop plastic bag or in an airtight bread box. That will keep out the air and moisture and help it last longer.
Feed the birds
When I was little, we always threw our stale bread in the backyard for the squirrels. They need to eat too! And the storm is brutal for animals too, especially if they can’t find somewhere to hide. So be nice and throw a little in the backyard for the birds, squirrels, and whoever else you have living back there. Who knows. Maybe you’ll have some company to entertain you during the storm.
But, if you do this, just be safe and don’t open your doors or windows during high winds just to feed the birds.
Use the bags for your feet
Davelle commented this tip on Drugstore Divas’ Facebook page and I loved it so much: Use the bags on your feet to keep them dry while playing in the snow.
What a great idea!
If the storm you are preparing for is a snow storm, not a hurricane, you may live in an area where you’ve grown up with the notion that you put on socks, then put bread bags over them, and then either your snow boot or another pair of socks and then a boot. The bread bags help to keep any moisture away from your feet, keeping your feet dry and warmer. When you’re a kid, that means you can play in the snow longer. When you’re an adult, that means spending more time shoveling the driveway.
Make bread pudding (after the storm)
If you don’t get a chance to finish your bread before the power comes back on, and your bread goes stale, don’t throw it away. You can use stale bread to make bread pudding.
Every time I make bread pudding, I actually buy a loaf of bread and leave it out on the counter, uncovered, overnight so it starts to get stale. By the next day, it’s ready for bread pudding.
So sure, you can’t make the bread pudding until you get your power back on and can actually bake it in the oven (and make the vanilla syrup on the stove top). But if you do end up with too much bread, this is a good way to use it.
Another good way to use up all that extra bread you might have? Make homemade croutons or homemade breadcrumbs.
What do you do with bread during a storm?