When all of the Convenience Stores have Already been Raided: How to Find Junk Food

Inviting, isn't it?

Inviting, isn’t it?

As those of you long time readers know, as a single girl looking for a husband I take my figure very seriously. In order to maintain my fashionably zaftig figure (skinny is so pre-panic!), I am on a strict 2,000+ calorie diet.  Therefore, I have to take extra care while eating on the road to ensure I get the nutrition I need to fight off both the zombies and the menfolk!

As stated previously, on our current road trip across the southwestern part of the Virginia territory, we have to halt pretty frequently to siphon gas. It’s a chore, but it gives us an opportunity to go scouting for new supplies.  As your resident expert in raiding, I thought I’d pass on a few tips to you readers.

As you all know, all of the grocery, pharmacies and convenience stores are almost completely raided with the exception of  sour cream & onion chips which are frankly gross and do not belong in the modern woman’s diet.* Therefore, you have to be more thoughtful in your approach when looking for snacks.

Here is where to look for the best junk food:

  • Liquor stores– most of the alcohol has been raided, but no one remembered to take the party snacks!
  • Break rooms in office buildings – But be sure to bring an ax to get to the goodies in vending machines!  Make sure to check the drawers of the cubicle desks too, that’s where folks stashed the snacks they really didn’t want others to steal.
  • Fast food joints – Amazingly, I have found that many of the fast food places along the road have had generators which have kept the freezers on for years. For that reason, we have been enjoying all of our old favorites lately. It’s not food per se, but it sure tastes good!
  • Big Box store backrooms and basements – Sadly for the dearly departed, most people in the early days of the panic forgot the importance of being thorough in their raiding. They took everything from the store shelves, but forgot the treasure trove of items in the back. Learn from their folly!
  • Ethnic grocery stores- This really only applies to you urban dwellers, as there is not too much diversity in moonshine country.  However, many Korean, Indian, Chinese , and other small grocery stores are STILL full of delicious and delectable prepackaged snacks simply because many people targeted the bigger groceries during the early days of the great panic.

Mr. Wade recently came across an entire crate of moonshine, which has made our trip a little more fun. Remember kids, always drink moonshine responsibly: never ever drink and drive a school bus!

Your Salty & Sweet,
Miss E

*Mrs. K would like our readers to note that she takes issue with this sour cream & onion chips are her favorite snack. A debate over this issue eventually led to us not talking for several hours.

Ask the Gracious Ladies: How to Siphon Gas like a Lady

Image by vudhikrai,

Image by Vudhikrai

Dear Gracious Ladies,

Thank you two so much for your invaluable advice to navigating the complexities of the post-apocalyptic life with poise and elegance. I have a particularly tricky question for you. How do I siphon gas like a lady? So often I get gas in my mouth, making my breath less than kissing-sweet. Can you help?

Sincerely,
Gassy Gal

Image by Salvatore Vuono

Image by Salvatore Vuono

Dear Gassy Gal,

We are currently on the road so I empathize with your struggle completely. Siphoning gas is such a painful reality for a modern girl on the go.  With our current school bus, we have to fill up fairly frequently, which makes the road trip progress very slow, especially considering the occasional wrecked cars in our path that we have to move along the way.

But back to your excellent question about siphoning gas. If done incorrectly, the process can be messy, highly flammable and worst of all, highly unladylike. For those of our (amateur) readers who are not sure how to siphon gas without using your mouth,  please click here for a great demonstration by SinsinCincy.

In addition, I’d like to add a tip. While most people tend to go after the large SUVs and trucks, I have found it is nearly always better to siphon hybrid and ultra low emission vehicles. While the tanks may be smaller, they tend to be filled with more of the fuel, simply because others never think to siphon them first!

And remember the cardinal rule for siphoning: pinky up ladies!

Affectionately,

Miss E

Have a question? Need some sage wisdom? Please submit your question in the question box attached to the barn… or email us at the.ladies.zombie.handbook@gmail.com

Happy Easter from the Gracious Ladies!

Happy Easter everyone! Aside from a few difficulties caused by being on the road, we plan to celebrate as usual.  There are a few in our survivor group that adhere to the belief that celebrating Easter post-panic is in bad taste now that the dead have actually risen.  However, we will take any excuse to have a big meal and a little fun so we celebrate, but in a mostly secular way.Zombie bunny

The focus of the day is always the Easter egg hunt.  Easter egg hunts are great activity.   The kids love it and it promotes good hunting skills. Here are a few tips for a successful egg hunt:

  • Choose your spot:  This is especially important when you are on the road like we are.  Make sure to hide the eggs only in a small and fairly open area.
  • Anything can be an egg:  Do not discouraged be if you don’t have all the right materials; we have learned to improvise!  I mean, who has plastic Easter eggs these days?  This year we’ve used film canisters we found rattling around the bus but you can use almost anything from cigarette packs to empty pill bottles!
  • Use the best treats:  The kind they can really use.  Instead of candy we fill the “eggs” with survival items such as Band-Aids, buttons and sheets of toilet paper.

Easter dinner may be a little on the skimpy side this year but the hunt will go on!  And besides, we have a little dandelion wine we’ve been saving for the occasion, so the grown ups will have a good time too!

Happy hunting,

Mrs. K

The Sound of Silence

Dan guitarToday, we were hit by a terrible turn of events.  No, our bus did not break down in zed-infested territory nor were we waylaid by cannibals.

It was something so much worse: the CD player in the bus broke.  We did not have a huge collection of CDs but was better than a bus full of people all talking at once (or the silence when we all ran out of things to say).  Now all we have is ourselves for musical entertainment.  While we have some genuine talent among us, Mr. K has instituted a few ground rules to keep the peace:

  • No sing-along songs such as “The Wheels on the Bus” or “99 Bottles of Beer.”  This should always be a rule, no matter what the circumstances.
  • Mr. K says that if anyone, even jokingly, requests that he play “Freebird” on his guitar one more time, he will personally turn this bus around and deliver us all gift-wrapped to the cannibals.
  • No fiddling with the radio dial.  All there has been for the past six years is static; today will be no different.
  •  No singing unless you actually know the words, and no drumming without rhythm.  Rhythm will be determined by a group majority and all decisions are final.

We hope this will keep the peace.  But we really hope that we can fix the CD player at our next stop.

What are some of your favorite road trip songs?  We could use the suggestions!

Very truly,

Mrs. K

How to Cook on the Road (without attracting zombies!)

One of the major issues that survivor groups face when they are forced out of their shelter is how to cook nutritious, delicious meals on the open road. Campfires are rarely a good idea as the light can attract zeds and cannibals alike. (Cannibals tend to see fires as an invitation to barbecue.) We have solved this problem by building a solar oven. Instructions can be found here on how to build your own. With this easy to make contraption, no one will ever have to miss out on my famous chicken pot pie!

Very truly,

Mrs. K

Why We Had to Abandon Our Survival Shelter and Head West

Cross Stich pattern by Alicia Watkins. (Link to her etsy page is provided below. )

Cross Stich pattern by Alicia Watkins. (Link to her etsy page is provided below. )

Dearest Readers,

Last Thursday I promised you all an explanation for why we’ve been out of touch. Here is how it happened. Do you remember Mr. Young Jr.? He was my romantic interest last November before getting kicked out by Mr. K in January due to his inability to, well… contribute.

We hoped we had heard the last of him. Unfortunately, we had not.

It seems that after Mr. Young Jr. left our colony, he joined up with a roving cannibal gang. As I’ve mentioned before, cannibals are the worst sort of crowd to consort with – even viler than Miss Peterson. While it is not surprising that he would try to join that kind of disreputable group, cannibals are not usually amenable to taking on new members. I can only imagine that telling these hungry people-eaters that there were a couple dozen delicious individuals at a nearby location ingratiated him to the pack. (After all, I’ve always thought of myself as a tasty little dish!) Perhaps this was the cannibal lair we came across several weeks ago when searching for a new home.

On Wednesday last week, Mrs. K and I were on the front porch taking a break from packing when we saw a disheveled, ragged Mr. Young Jr. limping towards us. He looked different; not only was he unkempt (per usual) but he kept shaking furiously and laughing manically.

Immediately, we knew these were tell-tale symptoms of cannibalism, so we called for help. At the moment, the cannibal gang burst through the weak parts of our fences and began their attack. They must have been studying our defenses for a few days since they seemed to know all of the points of entry. There were perhaps 15 of them – they didn’t outnumber us but they had the advantage of surprise.

We had run drills for attacks (from both alive and undead aggressors), of course, but the patterns of the living are always less predictable than the zombies. Between the surprise attack and the distraction of packing, we were slow to respond. The cannibals were armed with shotguns and starting firing first. All the gunfire seemed to attract every undead being in the neighborhood! Within a half hour, in addition to the cannibals, our defenses were completely overrun by zeds.
The firefight lasted under a half an hour but we had lost four, Mr. Lehman, Mr. Wright and two junior survivors, Little Amanda Rose and Little Maddie. For those of you who are good at math, that brings our survival group down to 19.

A few of the cannibals escaped but I’m glad to say that most died grisly deaths at the hands of a group of girl scout zambini. Happily, I had the pleasure of watching Mr. Young Jr. being devoured by a zambino. I didn’t want the zombie to have all of the fun, so I shot him straight between the eyes (that’ll teach him to reject my advances!).

Between the undead hordes and the knowledge that the cannibals would quickly regroup and try again, we needed to move out quickly. Lucky for us, we had already been planning a move, so the 19 of us that remained were able to jump into our half-packed, armored school bus and hit the road.

We have started west. We do not have a destination in mind and progress is slow, but I have started working on a new cross stitch to hang wherever we next call home.

Your ever gracious,
Miss E

(Like the cross stich pattern featured? Check out Alicia Watkin’s etsy shop for more: http://www.etsy.com/shop/aliciawatkins?ref=seller_info)

The Gracious Ladies have hit the road! (And a photo of Miss E)

Miss E made you a cake!

Miss E made you a cake!

Dearest readers,

Well the colony has had to hit the road once again. Next Monday we’ll explain the reasons for having to abandon our plantation home and head west in a great hurry. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t the zombies made us flee.) So far we haven’t found a home and Mr. K says it could be weeks before he is ready to  hunker down for more than a day or two. Those of us who survived the upset — and there were casualties! – have been huddled together in our tricked-out school bus that we keep on hand for these unfortunate fight-or-flight occasions.

 So far, our road trip across the Virginia Territory has given us some fresh perspective on how to both thrive when “on tour” so to speak. Mrs. K and I are looking forward to sharing our practical insights with you in the coming weeks.

Yours,

Miss E

PS: This is a picture of yours truly taken by Mike Relli (mikarelli.com) before the upset. The identity of Mrs. K will be revealed as soon as she can find a portrait of her in her moving boxes!

Rats! An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Catching and Eating Rats

An urban delicacy, rats are full of protein! (Picture by Victor Habbick.)

An urban delicacy, rats are full of protein! (Picture by Victor Habbick.)

After March 3, 2019 when the world ended, I ran south from my home in DC to Alexandria and Arlington.  I lived there for six months, trying to make a go at it on my own. This was before I met up with Mrs. K (nee Miss W).  At the time I considered these northern Virginia cities to be “country,” having dwelled in large cities for the majority of my life. Of course, these areas were overrun with undead as anywhere else, so it was a difficult time in my life. I barely had time to brush my hair!

One of you recently asked how I survived the first six months of the great panic in relative isolation given my distinct lack of survival skills. The answer?  I caught, lived with and ate rats.

While I usually try to discuss topics that have more to do with thriving than merely surviving, I’ve decided to give you a little overview on how to catch and eat urban wildlife.  While we live in the country in the Virginia territory, I don’t want to leave out those of you who live in our urban markets.

Get a cat, be nice to it .  Why catch a rat yourself when you can get someone else to do it? Cats are notoriously fickle creatures, but a little affection can turn your cat into a killing and fetching machine. Female cats are generally better hunters, so keep that in mind when you are picking an animal companion. Be sure to give some of the catch to your pet cat! You want to promote loyalty if possible…. or rather, as much loyalty as a cat is capable of.

Become one with your prey. Go where the rats go – dark, dank areas are always best. I spent a lot of time in sewers in the early days. Rats love trash, so I would create elaborate trash piles to isolate and then trap them in. Try to think about the environments rats would like and then try to recreate them.

Be patient. It may take a while for your next meal to show up. Be quiet and still while waiting for your rat to show itself. However, once it does, move fast!

Word to the wise:  as I’ve said before, all animals have a natural aversion to zombies. Rats in particular scatter when zeds approach. Pay attention – if rats don’t want to be where you are, maybe you shouldn’t be either!

Not only are rats a great source of protein, they can be delicious when prepared correctly! I always preferred to roast my rats over a fire. Skin the rat, slice it down the middle and clean it thoroughly. Cut the meat into chunks and put on a stick, like a kabab. Roast to your taste, using whatever spices are available.

While I now have access to more types of protein (chickens, deer, etc.) I still enjoy the occasional rat dish from time to time. It really is quite a delicacy. In my experience, if you don’t tell your guests what they are eating, they will enjoy it too!

With affection,

Miss E

Sunday Roast Chicken: A Feast for the Week

ChickenIt has been such a hectic few weeks around here!  One of my favorite tricks when things are extra busy is to roast a whole chicken on a Sunday. This way you have meat to use in meals all week.  It eliminates so much mess and time from the cooking process for the rest of the week!  I have listed the quantities needed per chicken, but feel free to scale up or down to suit the size of your group!

Here is my recipe for easy roast chicken:

Ingredients:

  1. Whole chicken
  2. 1 lemon
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. Salt
  6. Pepper

Directions:

  •  Let butter soften.  Grate entire lemon peel and mince garlic.  Once the butter is softened, cut in the lemon zest and garlic until well mixed.
  •  Wash chicken and pat dry.  Loosen skin and work butter under skin.  The butter should be as evenly distributed as possible (but don’t sweat it if its not perfect, all that lovely butter will melt and coat the skin).
  •  Once the butter is under the skin, I usually rub my still buttery fingers on the outside of the skin just to give it a good base.  Rub salt and pepper over the outside of the bird.
  •  Cut lemon and squeeze out most of the juice, set aside.  Insert lemon halves into chicken cavity.
  •  Set oven to 425 and cook (general rule of thumb: 1 hour per pound).  Baste chicken will reserved lemon juice and pan drippings.
  •  Let rest for 20 minutes when done cooked.  Carve, enjoy.

Any leftovers can be used throughout the week for sandwiches, pasta dishes or my famous chicken pot pie!

Very truly,

Mrs. K

Ask the Gracious Ladies: Spelling Bee Edition

Misspellings often lead to fatal misunderstandings. Correct spelling: "All Dead Here."

Misspellings often lead to fatal misunderstandings. Correct spelling: “All Dead Here.”

Dear Gracious Ladies,
 
My daughter hates practicing her spelling, but my survival group’s spelling bee is coming up in a few weeks.  I really want her to do well, but she keeps saying that since we are living in a zombie world, why does it matter if she can win a spelling bee?  What need does she have to spell things correctly? Please help!
 
Desperately,
Stickler for Spelling

Dear Stickler for Spelling,

I understand your frustration. I have this same very same problem with Little Maude and Little Lydia a few months back.  At first, like you, I tried to reason with them. I warmly explained that what separated zombies from us (in addition to dietary preference and a living heartbeat) was the proper use of language skills. Furthermore, I listed all the uses for language in our current landscape and provided examples of how a simple misspelling or grammatical error could lead to death or dismemberment.

For example, I once mistakenly entered a grocery store which had “AL DED HEAR” spray painted on the entrance. While I came out of that situation unscathed due to my superior rifle skills, correct spelling might have saved me the ammo.

But I think your problem is not your explanatory skills, it’s the fact that you are trying to reason with a child using logic and communication. Amateur mistake! Instead, I recommend you try the time-tested punishment: dinner-deprivation. It may be harsh, but after a couple of days they’ll learn to S-P-E-L-L  or they will S-T-A-R-V-E.

Parentally Yours,
Miss E, the 2003 second grade Spelling Bee Champion