We had a lengthy blackout on Monday night. Some have called it ‘Hipstergeddon’ because we spent around 7 hours without lights, TV, heating, microwave, dishwasher, radio and most importantly… computers! (First world problems :-))
We’ve had blackouts before of course (although I can’t remember one lasting this long since I was a kid), but this is the first time I’ve really been aware of how much more we rely on electricity these days!
When the lights flickered once and then suddenly shut off, I was right in the middle of serving our lasagna for dinner. Only my daughter, H, and I were home at the time, so after (I’m ashamed to say) some girlie shrieking and squealing about zombies and monsters…H earnestly suggested, in her best Scooby Doo character voice, “I think it would be best if we split up.”
Thankfully I had my trusty headlamp (which is normally mocked by the rest of the family) near at hand, so I slipped it on my head and continued serving the lasagna and tossing the salad, while H dug out candles and matches.
No Salmonella for us
Unfortunately, the lasagna was SLIGHTLY under cooked, but as we have an electric oven, we couldn’t put it back in to finish off. H reminded me that, as there were no animal products in the lasagna, we probably weren’t at risk of food poisoning from undercooked food, so it should be OK—even if the noodles were a bit chewy. (Don’t you just love being vegan?)
Listen to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s podcast episode ‘Lethal gifts of livestock‘ to find out why we were probably fairly safe to eat our slightly undercooked lasagna.
Improvised comfort food
We don’t normally eat dessert, but we were feeling in need of comfort food, so we tried to figure out what treat we could have without having to open the fridge (just in case the blackout was prolonged).
Luckily H had baked some tiny chocolate mini-muffins the previous day, so we each took 2, put them in a bowl, added a sliced banana and then H remembered that we had an unopened squeezy bottle of Cottee’s Thick & Rich Chocolate Sauce that had been sitting in the back of the pantry for months…and last time I cleaned out the pantry, I noticed that it was vegan so we kept it. A thick squirt of the sickly sauce made this the perfect, festive, comfort food for a dark and chilly night. I have to admit that the night was becoming a lot of fun.
Trapped into playing board games!
By this time, we were rather pleased with our resourcefulness and were looking around for something to do. Our automated text message from the power company had informed us that this might actually last for quite a while, so we looked at our options:
- reading – not enough light sources to read for long—especially when we didn’t know how long we’d need them.
- TV/computer – obviously no power.
- radio – dammit, we don’t own a battery-powered radio any more.
- internet – my phone is the only 3G device and it was almost out of charge, so I didn’t want to use it if I didn’t have to (especially with the rest of the family out of the house).
- music – piano is out of tune, our guitarist wasn’t home, I couldn’t find my recorder or the ukelele 🙂 and H threatened me with injury if I started a singalong…
- board games – Ha! I love board games and nobody will usually play them with me…but H was trapped! There was nothing else to do so we settled down to a game of Monopoly, but not before H made us a couple of stove-top soy hot chocolates to keep us warm (thank goodness the stovetop uses gas).
Our candles didn’t last long so, as you can see from this picture, I dragged out some birthday candles and poked them into the remains of our (expensive) artisan loaf bought from the weekend farmers’ market. In the end, we went through two whole packets of birthday candles and the top of the loaf was waxy and toasted. It did look pretty celebratory though.
What was Hipstergeddon?
Here’s a pretty funny post about it, including an earthquake meme and Twitter screenshots.
This is where you can buy the ‘I survived Hipstergeddon’ t-shirt…who says Melbournians over-react?
The lasagna, by the way, was adapted from a lasagna recipe in Veganomicon. What a fantastic cookbook! I ordered it online ages ago, and it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago. I’ve made lots of recipes from it, and not a single one has been a failure.