Thursday, October 11, 2012

No Cooking--Out Of Gas

A day or three ago I was all excited. I'd been to the market, spent about $5 and dragged home all sorts of tasty foods.

Tasty foods that need to be cooked over heat. Like dry beans and potatoes and onions and curry powder and rice.

I had soaked some chickpeas ($1.70-ish/lb) over night and was dreaming of Channa Masala. Dreaming, I tell you. I could taste it. In my brain was a wonderful world of curry-flavored, tender chickpeas in tomato-y onion-y sauce.

Got home, swapped out the soaking water for fresh (from the bottle, not the tap--heavy metals and all that), and popped it on the stove-thingy. Turned the gas on and whoosh, it lit and burned sooo bright.

By the time I'd put away the shopping stuff, taken the trash out of the kitchen, and turned on my computer, the flames were dimming. A minute later, they were out.

No gas.

Now, pretty much everything that gets cooked here is heated in one of two ways (some people have and use microwaves, but it isn't common). Either they are cooked over gas flame (with or without a large, flat metal surface) or over wood fire.

No electric, no coal, no whatever. Just gas of some sort--propane, maybe?

It comes in these 20lb or something cylinders. They are heavy. And ugly. And tough to judge when it comes to fullness. So you never know quite when you're going to run out. I ran out at about 6pm on a Tuesday. After paying tabs (which always happens for me on Tuesdays, for some strange reason...), I had just enough for a cheap week of eating in and maybe a soda or beer somewhere once a day.

A new bottle of gas costs about, oh... $20? Less or more depending on the company. And they deliver, so that's not so bad. But they don't deliver at 6pm. Or to people who don't have cash.

So I gave upon that for the day and had leftover beans and fresh tomato and onion with some hot sauce. Then some bread and butter and tomato and onion. And then I really gave up and went to sleep.

Yesterday, though, I was determined to salvage the beans. There's a wood stove in the yard (and a wood oven, but I haven't even really looked at that yet). There's wood in the yard, and dried leaves, and stuff.

Tried making a fire. After two hours I had something that would warm water or soften (barely) some chopped onions. Both of which I did. Then I gave up again, put the onions and a tomato on some more random, cheap bread from the tienda, and gave up again.

Today I've decided. No more trying to cook until I get gas. It just isn't working for me.

Photos of the kitchen, wood stove, and random other stuff... when I get to it. Tomorrow, maybe?

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