PHOTOGRAPHY BY BARRY FRANKEL PHOTOGRAPHY
AFTER THE MASSIVE RAINFALL AND FLOODING on Kauai last April, we had the opportunity to speak to a group of people who live off the grid just north of Hanalei. They requested not to be named in this story, but shared some profound experiences of their food journey with our magazine.
A few of these folks have lived off the land for years, preparing and eating only food that they grew. It was mostly taro, greens, herbs, coconuts, tropical fruit, and fresh-caught fish. Even salt was gathered right from the shoreline.
The 50 inches of rain that fell in just over a 24 hours brought floods that came and washed away their farmland, home, and way of life. The community stepped in and brought canned food and fresh water in via a small motorboat.
After day five of eating just canned food they craved anything fresh, ice cold, or raw. “We didn’t ever plan for a disaster and never imagined we would eat canned food,” they said. They felt the absence of the simplest of spices – like pepper – anything that could add some texture and complexity to their emergency rations.
This story inspired us to think of ways we could doctor up some basic, non-perishable meals, should we find ourselves in a similar situation. Here are six recipes we created or adapted from our archives to get us through a time of want in the wake of a natural disaster. They say hunger is the best sauce, but a little bit of seasoning can go a long way, too, so remember when you’re buying canned food for your storage – don’t forget the spices!