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Eat Your Vegetables: Snow day prep

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Our corgi struggles through a snow drift during the single winter we spent in Scranton, Pa.

Our corgi struggles through a snow drift during the single winter we spent in Scranton, Pa. by Sarah Henning

Ah, the rush for EVERYTHING at the grocery store, the night before the storm.

Having lived in both Scranton, Pa., and West Palm Beach, Fla., my husband and I intimately know the “storm food rush.”

In Pennsylvania, we were hopelessly laid out to dry by lifetime residents — little old ladies who had winter storm ration acquisition down to a meticulous science, while my husband and I aimlessly wandered the aisles, unsure where our priorities should lie.

By the time we moved to Florida, we had a good idea of how to prepare when hurricane season hit: Water, bread (usually bagels) and peanut butter first; trail mix, fruit and plastic utensils/paper plates next; bananas and apples last.

The strategy: Never anything frozen (we once lost power for up to two weeks), foods that work for any meal (power or running water optional) and provisions (like the utensils and plates) that make life without good water or electricity easier.

After four years there, we knew exactly what we were doing: both before a storm and after.

But, admittedly, we were a bit off our game with Tuesday’s impending storm. Mostly: We forgot what it could be like.

I sent my husband to the grocery store after work Monday night for the single lime we needed for the butternut squash curry we’d planned to make Tuesday during the storm. He went and the store was so busy and crazy, that he ended up buying a bunch of random things we also probably needed but didn’t plan for — coffee, pomegranates, eggs, spinach.

If I’d gone to the store, I’d probably done the same thing. In short: We were off our pre-storm game. All that training we did living through five hurricanes in Florida and a snow-filled winter in Pennsylvania apparently has waned in the six-and-a-half years since we returned to Kansas.

That said, I’m kind of hoping not to officially retrain that muscle. If this is the only major storm of winter 2014, I totally wouldn’t mind that. Even though it’s nice to have a day of watching the snow with tea at my side and something delicious in the slow cooker.

The recipe we needed the lime for? Butternut squash curry. If you need something warm in the days after the storm, I highly recommend it. Just get the ingredients early.

Butternut Squash Curry

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk, divided (be sure to shake the coconut milk well before dividing)

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

In a small bowl, combine lime zest and juice, curry paste and soy sauce. Stir in a bit of coconut milk to blend. Add to slow cooker stoneware along with remaining coconut milk. Stir in squash.

Cover and cook on high for three hours, until squash is tender. Serve immediately.

— Recipe from "150 Best Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and More Slow Cooker Recipes" by Sunil Vijayakar

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