Greetings from the front end of Hurricane Sandy. Here in South Jersey, the rains started in earnest sometime in the middle of the night, but we’re not expected to get the brunt of the storm until much later tonight. School is cancelled for the next two days, and I slept until an indulgent 9 a.m. this morning. I was very happy to still have power this morning when we woke up. There are power outages just 15 minutes south of me.

The big talk on Facebook yesterday was storm preparation, and I asked my friends what they were stocking up on or cooking to prepare for Sandy. It’s no surprise that comfort foods came up a lot. Food can comfort, and when people are worried impending harm to themselves and their loved ones, destruction of property, and an interruption to their normal routines, they turn to favorite foods to help them get through it.

What is everyone cooking? Here’s a roundup:

  • Slow cooker favorites – Chicken and pork cooked for pulled meat sandwiches as well as roast beef and stews were mentioned by several people. Big batches of foods like those that can be reheated on gas stoves if the electricity goes out are a great idea.
  • Soups – Chicken noodle, of course, but also soups like lentil with sausage, butternut squash, and broccoli cheddar are going to get families through the next couple of days.
  • Chili – I needed to buy chili powder the other week, and it was all sold out. Last week, I was able to get it, but I took the last two jars off the shelf. It’s obviously chili season anyway, but a good pot of chili cooking on the stove — with or without meat — will certainly be comforting during a storm.
  • Pasta, meatballs and gravy – There were lots of pasta dishes being baked and lots of meatballs and homemade gravy (sauce) making homes smell wonderful yesterday.
  • Hardboiled eggs – This is something I wouldn’t have thought of, but several people mentioned they were hard boiling eggs so if the power went out, they’d have them ready for eating or making egg salad.
  • One-offs – Chicken schnitzel sandwiches with cole slaw, spare ribs, Cornish game hens, and smothered pork chops – most of these dishes made with mashed potatoes on the side – were in my friends’ ovens yesterday.
  • Baked goods – Brownies and cookies topped the list, but MNN’s family blogger Jenn was baking her daughter’s birthday cake a couple days early just in case she doesn’t have power tomorrow on her birthday.
  • Me - I roasted a chicken yesterday. We had a wonderful dinner last night of chicken and gravy, corn bread, mashed potatoes and broccoli. Today, I have lots of leftover chicken to make soup if I we still have power or chicken salad if the power goes out.

How about stocking up? Most people realize that at some point they might not have the ability to cook, so they are also stocking up on non-perishables.

  • Water
  • Peanut butter
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Bread
  • Coffee
  • Granola bars
  • Pizza (one friend had several pizzas delivered and was counting on room temperature leftovers lasting a day or two if the power went out)
  • Wine, beer, alcohol and mixers – these were the most mentioned items of all!

My friends and neighbors are certainly well prepared to eat (and drink) their way through the storm, but I want to mention that it’s not just food that people were sharing yesterday on Facebook. They were also sharing support. I saw so many mentions of open-ended offers to help anyone who needed it including people offering up their homes for anyone being evacuated from the coastal regions. I also saw a lot of prayers and well wishes.

If you’re in the path of Sandy, I hope you stay dry, safe and warm.

Related on MNN: How to practice food safety when the power goes out

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Hurricane Sandy inspires home cooking
Our food blogger takes an informal survey of the foods her Facebook friends were preparing while hunkered down waiting for Hurricane Sandy. She shares the top f