So, raiding. It’s the new thing. All the cool kids are doing it. Thought I’d give it a go.
Turns out, in the town, the power hasn’t even gone yet. There was even power to the pumps in the gas station on the way in, and nobody in sight. Guess there’s a limited number of cops left to go round, and they’re sticking to the banks and the major food stores. Nobody was guarding the road blocks, but then I didn’t see any other traffic. Maybe they’re guarding road blocks further out towards the freeway, and I’m just in the middle of an exclusion zone. It looks like I’m pretty much on my own here, and I’m hoping that means everybody else got evacuated to some kind of quarantine place and I got left out, rather than, you know, the alternative, which is kind of creepy. I don’t pass many houses on my way into town, but the few I did, I tried not to look in the windows. The nightmares are bad enough without that.
I worked out how to pump the gas – I’m not the first, cause there’s about $25,000 on the dial. Not a cent on the till, so I didn’t bother leaving cash just for the next guy to pick up. I didn’t bother with the rest of the town, cause I’m pretty much OK for food, water, ammo. Realized when I got back I coulda done with some cooking oil, but isn’t that always the way? I’ll stock up next time I go in, and I’ll plant some sunflowers to press my own oil in future.
So I got seed in the ground and food in the stores. To answer Mei’s “recipes for disaster” meme, I’ve been preserving plums, since I got a good crop. Here’s my Mom’s recipe:
1. Put 1kg of fruit, minus the stones (yeah, I only made that mistake once) and about a cup of water in a pan and heat it till it boils.
2. Lower the heat and simmer it for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit’s really soft.
3. Add 1kg sugar and stir it in till it’s dissolved, then bring it all to the boil again.
4. Boil it for about 10 minutes, then scrape off any bits on the top and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
5. Put it in jars that you’ve warmed and sterilized in boiling water and put the lids on while it’s still warm. They should pull the seal down as they cool and pop when you open them up for the first time.
I used the preserve to baste a roast chicken. Real cooking! Mom would be proud. I reckon there’ll be enough preserve to see me through the year. The chicken was from frozen – have to use all that up before the power goes for good. Tomorrow I’m going on a sort of self-interested mercy mission to round up any ownerless poultry or cattle in the area. Fruit and vegetables are what I know, but they’re not what I want to live on forever.