Written by Jennifer Duty
August 1, 2018
We live in one of the most unique states in the nation. I love it here. Its beauty and history are unparalleled. I don't always like the state my state is in. We have some major problems out here in the west.
This week is no exception. We came home to fire evacuation advisory. Which means start getting your stuff together. Get a plan. Get fuel. A mandatory evacuation could happen at any moment.
The last time we had a fire there were no warnings. We usually leave at any hint of trouble. I choose not to have a ringside seat to devastation. This time was a little different. My brother and I were the only ones in our family not to be under mandatory evacuation. Things changed quickly. While my brother was getting both my nephews evacuated and Stacy was directing his brother to evacuate, my brother and I got an advisory notice. We packed up ASAP. We have the drill down pretty good. Are the gas tanks full? Check. Start packing the most import items first. For us and my brother, that means getting the trailers hooked up, because you may find yourself living in for the next two months. I know from experience. We actually call our trailer, "The Escape Pod". Check.
Important papers. I keep all of my important papers in a portable file cabinet. I want to buy a waterproof, smash proof Pelican case some day. For now, the portable file cabinet I bought years ago from a box store works great. It sits next to my desk. Everyone knows where it is, and how important it is. Check. We put the rest of the camping equipment in the van.
How is there so much camping equipment? We have a trailer. Apparently, with the trailer comes a van full of stuff you didn't know you needed. The portable solar panel, portable two burner cooker with oven, table for portable two burner cooker with oven, picnic table, Pelican ice chest, BBQ, two large bins full of travel stuff and cookery, two different types of folding chairs, extra bedding, and river equipment. We are going on vacation next week. We are not about to miss the river just because we were evacuated. Check. Next, we decided to not pack clothes or other household items yet. We just piled them up for an easy exit. That way you don't have to think about it. If it becomes mandatory, we load and go.
We usually don't wait, but because every family member was under mandatory evacuation, my brother and I decided to stay. My nephews would be going to my brothers and Stacy's brother and his family would be coming to my house. My brother and I agreed if the power went out or the air quality became too bad we would leave. With everyone. Four travel trailers with tow vehicles, two cars, two trucks, and a small petting zoo. 13 dogs? 5 cats. It's a lot, but we would be together.
The next day things were looking a little better. In the afternoon we all got together for an evacuation party. It is rare when that many of us can be together at one time. I felt privileged to be the one hosting it.
It was a simple get together. That morning I had put some chicken in the Crock Pot. I boiled some potatoes. Caesar Salad. Canned chili and some hot dogs for the big boys. We finished it off with some gluten free chocolate cupcakes. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with advice and stories. Mostly laughter. As we finished up our cupcakes an alert came through that the mandatory evacuations in some areas had been lifted. In less than an hour and before dark everyone was gone. It was a good day.
8 Pasture-raised organic chicken thighs with the skin on.
Pacific Flake Sea Salt
Place the chicken in the Crock Pot side by side. I really stuff them in there. Nice and tight. A single layer. A bit of Pacific Flake Sea Salt on top. Put the lid on. Turn the temperature on high, walk away for 6 to 8 hours. The fat from the chicken skin and the moisture of the Crock Pot will create enough juices to cook the chicken and not burn it or dry it out. Check the chicken after 5 or 6 hours. Do not lift the lid. Look through the lid. You want the steam and the juices to do their thing to the chicken. If the chicken seems like it is loosing too much liquid and you are afraid it will dry out, add a 1/4 cup or more water. If you cook the chicken without skin, you will need to add some water at the beginning. When the chicken is done, it will fall off the bone. If you have any leftovers you can use it for tacos or soup. I cook a lot in the Crock Pot.
It is easy. Dinner is ready about the time I get too tired to cook. I have a large Crock Pot. I have cooked everything in it. I cook a lot of unseasoned foods because of my autoimmune disease but don't be afraid. Add some lemons or herbs when cooking.
Until then, be safe, enjoy your family and friends and get an emergency evacuation plan.