When attorney Sheronda Rochelle Blackburn got electricity back in her New Rochelle home Sunday night, one of the first things she did was check the food stored in her deep freezer and pantry.
"The family has to eat," she said, "but you just can't trust what they might serve at a restaurant after the storm."
Though many families have been eating out more since Hurricane Sandy, she has been wary to venture out.
Instead of fretting about how long the food in the restaurant's kitchen may have been laying around after Hurricane Sandy, Blackburn decided to become more creative with her own pantry items.
"Times like these, you have to cook without milk and butter but there's a lot of things you can make, you just wing it," Blackburn said. She keeps plenty of staples like canned beans, fish and pasta on hand and stocks up when she sees good prices.
Even after throwing away her perishables, Blackburn said there was plenty of inspiration to be found in a well-stocked pantry.
Taking the lack of fresh ingredients as inspiration rather than a challenge, Blackburn came up with a savory Pumpkin Ravioli and Oxtail Ragout dish made from ingredients safely protected from the storm in her deep freezer.
As she lifted the lid from her slow cooker, the aroma of stewed beef, root vegetables and seasonings filled the kitchen.
Blackburn usually cooks for her family, including 7 year old daughter Morgan, four or five nights a week.