Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Timing is Everything

Except when camping, I've never used bottled propane as my cooking fuel. But when we moved into our home here, well, that's how you do it on St, Croix. So we contacted Antilles Gas Co. and ordered our first bottle - 100 pounds of gas. The big blue and silver tank sits out back where it's hooked up to the house. During the hurricane we made sure it was tied down securely, but other than that we haven't done anything to it except use it.

There's no gauge on it, so there's really no way of knowing when it's empty except sort of hefting it and guessing. When the guy delivered the first tank, he said it would last three months. That was in August. It's now been almost four months and there was no sign of it giving out, nothing you could tell. The flame didn't flicker any more than it had when we first got it.

But with Thanksgiving coming, we decided not to wait for trouble. The last think you want is for the flame to go out in the oven half way through cooking your turkey. (Yes, we've decided to go with turkey this year. More on that another time.) So I called the gas company and the guy came out.

Tori was here when he arrived. He unsecured the tank from where we'd tied it down, disconnected, and lifted it. And his eyes got big.

"This tank is empty!" he said with surprise. By that, he meant completely empty. As in, not one more meal could have been cooked by it. He rarely sees a tank that empty except when the resident makes a mistake - as we almost did - and runs out of fuel.

So we were lucky there. I had cooked dinner Sunday night and there was no sign that I was running on empty.

I cooked breakfast this morning an there was no difference in the blue flame from the stovetop.

Just lucky I guess. In life, as in comedy, timing is everything.

1 comment:

jgrantmarshall said...

I have poured warm water on my BBQ tank and felt where the cool starts to find the propane remaining and I've also heard of these: http://www.become.com/propane-tank-level-gauges?&utm_medium=ssp&utm_source=yahoo&utm_term=propane%20tank%20level%20gauges&utm_campaign=become

, but have never used one.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Willamette Valley!