Monday, June 11, 2012

Cooking with Gas

Surprisingly, a large number of families in Nicaragua still cook with wood. It's very common to see a horse drawn cart carrying firewood. When we moved into our home I was happy to see that I wouldn't have to cook over a wood stove - we use propane. When we purchased our stove we also  bought a 10 lb propane tank that is attached with a regulator to the stove. However, since the tank comes empty we gave up our shiny, new tank for a full, used tank (not as pretty in the kitchen).

We have found that a tank of gas will last us about six weeks. We usually cook on the stove three times a day - morning for coffee and oatmeal, noon time for heating up our lunch and then again to cook supper in the evenings. I have yet to use the oven because I find it too hot. However, if you expect to do some baking when you move to Nicaragua, then expect that you will use more propane and will have to replace your tank more frequently.

Propane tank delivery
Every neighbourhood has a propane distributor. Usually their hours are very good - about 6 am until 8 or 9 pm.  Ask your neighbour who they use or just take a walk around the neighbourhood and you will see a sign advertising that they refill propane tanks. Make sure you get their phone number because you will likely be in the middle of cooking something when your gas goes out. When you phone them be sure to ask what the current cost is for replacing the tank - the price fluctuates. For example, we have paid $310 cordabas and $270 cordobas for a tank of gas. Also, try and have exact change - they seldom have a lot of money on them to give change.  Delivery times will vary but we haven't waited more than 1/2 hour which is very important when you are in the middle of cooking dinner.