Apocalypse Survivors Stress Free Dinner Party
Cave Scene on Ocean Beach Sorrento, c. 1900 – 1910 [1] via State Library Victoria

I have to be honest here and say most of us are not going to do very well post-apocalypse because we don’t know what fruit and vegetables look like in their natural habitat, and are incapable of hunting let alone killing other creatures for food. So our Apocalypse Survivors Stress Free Dinner Party has to be the kind of food we could get knocking over abandoned supermarkets, and that’s not going to last long.


On the assumption that the power has gone off, we’ll focus on tinned and dried goods, though I’ve attempted to keep the meal as balanced as possible. Steal salt-reduced food for preference, and if you have time, make sure your cans are not damaged, your vacuum sealed packs are still tightly sealed, and check the expiry dates. Without the vegetables to bulk out the meal, you will need to serve larger portions.


Post-apocalypse I would probably be drinking myself senseless while I waited for my drugs to run out and my kidney transplant to fail, and I assume a lot of others would be drowning their sorrows too. I’ve made specific recommendations for alcohol, but in reality, you’d probably just drink what you could find. You’ll also need a few bottles of water.


I imagine panic and destruction all around, but let’s pretend you were able to break into a nice, clean, regular house.

Dress Code

Same as for zombies; with shredded, dirty, and bloody clothing.

Dinner Planning

As ever, six guests invited to arrive 6.30 for 7.00pm.

6:30 Apéritif: Beer and Nuts

Bar snacks are usually very salty to make you drink more. You can reduce the saltiness of nuts by throwing them in a tea towel and rubbing some of the salt off.

7.00 Entrée: More Beer with Beef Tacos

Empty two tins of salt reduced corned beef in a bowl and combine with two jars of a tomato based salsa. Put on the stove and bring to the boil. Divide between tortillas, fold, and eat.

Do a quick perimeter sweep before the next course.

8.00 Main: Tuna and Olive Pasta with Rosé 

Choose a spiral or ridged pasta that will hold the sauce and cook according to the packet directions.

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add two drained tins of tuna in brine, a handful of black olives, some dried onion, garlic granules and basil. Slosh in some wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Top up the pan with two tins of crushed tomatoes and bring to the boil.

Top with the kind of Parmesan cheese that you find on the supermarket shelves.

9.00 Dessert: Fruit Pavlova with Moscato

Find a boxed pavlova base, or mini meringue shells. Top with spray can cream and tinned fruit salad (don’t forget to bicker over who gets the grape). If you can’t find pre-made meringue, you could get the mix and bake that ahead of time. A grating of chocolate might help. I can’t help feeling that in an actual post-apocalyptic scenario you probably wouldn’t make pavlova ahead, you’d probably just eat the fruit out of the tin.

9.00 Digestif: chocolate, ginger biscuits, supplements and brandy (tea and coffee).

You’ll have to skip the cheese, but hopefully, you found some bitter dark chocolate. The ginger biscuits will help with digestion, and a vitamin supplement will probably be beneficial too. I feel you’d want something like brandy to help lift the post-apocalyptic mood. Hopefully, you scored some French stuff! And you’ll need ultra-high temperature, evaporated, or condensed milk for your coffee.


Unless you have to make your pavlova ahead, none of this will take very long to make so you could just cook this as you eat.

[1] I am deeply conflicted about using this picture, and I need to acknowledge that it depicts an historic event in which 15 people lost their lives. On 28 December 1893, the SS Alert left Lakes Entrance on her way to Melbourne. She met high seas and hurricane force winds and sank off Cape Schank. This drawing portrays the rescue of ship’s cook Robert Ponting, being attended by men, women, and revived with brandy and the body heat of a St Bernard dog.


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