Cooking with Gas

Cooking with GasToday was a day that I actually turned myself into a human vending machine and pushed the button of “day worker”.  There were two stoves that had to be moved, two lawns that had to be mowed, a hedge to trim and a giant area rug to be disposed of in the time frame of three hours or less.  Synchronization is key to getting manual labor done in a timely basis.  Since I was still wearing my grubs and work gloves, I took time to walk up and down the back alley behind my office building and picked up all the litter that was scattered about.  I will absolutely never understand the minds of some humans when finding they just throw their spent soft drink bottles, cigarette packages, junk food wrappers, and everything in between.  While picking up after the litterers I remembered what was mentioned to me some weeks ago, “Stupid people can’t learn but rather have to be trained.”  Those words sound pretty hard, but when we have to step down out of our standards and pick up after thoughtless others, it is a bit of an insult to the one doing the clean up as well as Mother Nature.  I thank heaven for at least knowing what it takes to keep the world around me in a more pleasant state.  My open house at 935 – 8th St. SE was a bit of a flop with having only two people show up.  One that was supposed to make it texted me saying something came up and wouldn’t be able to attend.  As I mentioned in last night’s article, someone with money and vision will turn that home into their own little nest egg.

Hoping everyone will not consider me a doomsday theorist when I at times speak about being prepared in case some sort of natural disaster should strike.  What caused me to think of this today was while mowing and remembering that charming apartment size stove I had to move for someone this morning.  It was a mid-century model that was in surprisingly good shape for its age.  I didn’t realize until some years ago that newer gas stoves won’t light unless there’s electricity.  If the electronic ignitions don’t work, the gas will not flow.  In thinking about it, it sounded a bit concerning.  I forget what year it was, but a terrible ice storm just happened to hit on Halloween.  Believe it or not, my home as well as the district in which I live was without power for three days.  Fortunately I had an older stove that I did as much cooking with during those three days to at least keep the chill out of the house.  If we don’t have at least some sort of alternative source of heat, it could be devastating for people whose only sources are entirely dependent on electricity.  Writing this causes me to remember a conversation with a German foreign exchange student about 5 years ago.  I didn’t realize that many Germans who live in village settings and likely very nice homes, have a number of sources for heat and electricity.  They have high efficiency furnaces that can burn natural gas as well as coal or wood.  Many have solar panels mounted on their roofs to help heat hot water.  They also have what is considered a kitchen garden where they grow just enough food for their family’s use during growing seasons. We’ve all seen steep pitched European homes in photos.  Those roofs are built in such sharp angles to keep the snow off as well as create steep-pitched third floors where dried fruits and vegetables are stored.  It’s interesting how wide one’s mind opens when thinking about cooking with gas.

Joe Chodur

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