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FYI

Summertime Grilling

Total Time: 38 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Inactive: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds of good-quality kielbasa or other smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3/4 cup of ketchup
  • 3/4 cup of spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce

Directions

  1. Soak 8 to 10 wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium and brush with the oil. Thread the sausage onto the skewers, leaving space between each piece. Grill until slightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Mix the ketchup, mustard and hot sauce in a bowl. Serve with the sausage for dipping, and enjoy!
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Summer Propane Maintenance

Regular maintenance, inspection and safety measures are the best way to ensure your propane appliances are running safely and efficiently. But with all the appliances we regularly use, keeping up with routine maintenance can feel like an impossible task. That’s why we’ve put together a cheat sheet for the appliances you should focus on this summer.

WHO TO CALL
A qualified service technician should perform a thorough appliance inspection on an annual basis. It’s important to remember that appliance maintenance is no DIY job; only qualified service technicians have the proper training to install, service, maintain and repair your appliances.

WHEN TO SERVICE
If you use your appliance heavily during one season, like a furnace or boiler, you should have the system inspected and cleaned prior to the beginning of the season. You don’t want to find out your heating system needs repairing or replacing when the temperature begins to dip in December.

If you use your propane appliances year round, it’s a good idea to set a month for your annual inspection and maintenance. This simple trick is a great way to help you remember to schedule your service! Summer is a great time to schedule maintenance since your propane company is likely to be less busy than in the middle of the heating season.

WHAT TO SERVICE
Since we’re in the midst of summer—and a heatwave at that—I think it’s safe to say that you’re not heating your home at the moment. That’s why we suggest servicing the following appliances this summer:

  • Propane furnace/boiler (serviced annually by a professional)
  • Propane fireplace (serviced annually by a professional)

Less seasonal appliances that are used year round also require routine maintenance. Whether you have these appliances serviced summer, spring, winter or fall, designating a specific month for service is a great way to make sure they’re not forgotten about! Some of those appliances include:

  • Propane water heater (serviced annually by a professional)
  • Propane oven (serviced annually by a professional)
  • Propane clothes dryer (serviced bi-annually by a professional)

Unsure if your appliances are due for routine maintenance? Contact us or call your local office to speak with an appliance expert!


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Our Glendale, AZ Team is Beating the Summer Heat with Code Red Heat Relief

 

Every day AmeriGas locations across the nation host and participate in drives and events to support their local communities. July begins our #SummerofService to highlight these events our offices participated in this year.

Our AmeriGas teams in the southwest region of the country always feel the extreme heat in the summertime. This is why our team in Glendale, Ariz., is helping their community stay cool this summer with the Code Red Heat Relief campaign.

The campaign started four years ago in partnership with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to bring water and supplies to individuals who need them to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths. There were a reported 6,000 homeless men, women, and children who reside in the streets of Phoenix in the scalding sun due to improper shelter. The days above 100 degrees outnumber other slightly less invasive conditions, causing the heat-related problems for citizens who stay outside for long periods of time.  In 2015 the Phoenix Rescue mission delivered over 871,882 bottles of water, hygiene kits, and food to people in need.

The AmeriGas team focuses on collecting cases of bottled water and each year exceeds their goal. Karina Romero, Operations Supervisor in Glendale, said her team started the Code Red Heat Relief Campaign several years ago and they’ve contributed at least 100 cases of bottled water each year.

“Safety is our priority and staying hydrated here in the valley is crucial,” said Romero. “These three digit temps for a long period of time is tough for all of us.”

For more information about Code Red Heat Relief contact our Glendale location or about the Phoenix Rescue Mission, visit phoenixrescuemission.org.

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The Olympic Torch Runs on Propane

2016 Rio Olympics Torch

The Olympic flame is one of the oldest and most cherished symbols  of the Olympic games.  In ancient Greece, the flame represented the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus and the fire stayed lit throughout the Olympic games. This year the Olympic torch is very unique. The torch, created by São Paulo-based design firm Chelles & Hayashi, expands when it touches flame and includes five ribbons of color, stemming from the Brazilian flag: gold, blue, and green.

The modern torch was introduced in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam and the first torch relay was at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games. Since then, the design of the torch has evolved, along with the fuel that powers the symbolic flame. Everything from gunpowder to olive oil was used to fuel the Olympic torch’s flame. More sustainable fuel sources have since been introduced, since the flame was intended to remain lit throughout the journey of the torch relay (which goes through dozens of countries in a wide range of conditions). “The first liquid fuels were introduced at the 1972 Munich games. Torches since that time have carried liquid fuels — they are stored under pressure as a liquid, but burn as a gas to produce a flame. Liquid fuel is safe for the runner and can be stored in a lightweight canister.” (HowStuffWorks)

In 2000, the creators of the Sydney, Australia Olympic torch  utilized a mixture of 35 percent propane and 65 percent butane (cigarette lighter fuel), which ignites a strong flame without making a lot of smoke. This was a more lightweight and environmentally friendly option for the torch and safest for the torchbearer to carry.  Because the propane/butane mix can be stored as a liquid under relatively light pressure, it can be kept in a lightweight container.

In an effort to have a green Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch was fueled entirely by propane because there is no risk of pollution.The 2012 London Olympic Torch was fueled by a mixture of propane and butane. Although it has not been officially reported what fuel source is being used in the 2016 Rio Olympic Torch, we hope they are continuing the trend of using clean-burning propane.

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The Gunnison, CO AmeriGas Team Grills up 600 Hotdogs for Annual Fishing Derby

 

Gunnison Fishing Derby 2016

Every day AmeriGas locations across the nation host and participate in drives and events to support their local communities. July begins our #SummerofService to highlight these events our offices participated in this year.

Early in June the team in Gunnison, CO got their usual spot at the annual Gunnison Fishing Derby for a great #SummerofService event. This event is hosted by the City of Gunnison for kids in the community. This year our team grilled up over 600 hotdogs and the event brought in an estimated 500 guests!

The City donates food and drinks, as well as stocked Pac Man pond with fish, and AmeriGas supplies the propane grills and labor. Some of the highlights of the event include free fishing poles, a freshly stocked pond, target practice and gun and bow safety, archery, free t-shirts for all the kids, outdoor education on trails and wildlife, boat safety education, and of course free food!

District Manager Joe Mosely said the team in Gunnison started participating in the event about six years ago and they’d only cooked about 100 hot dogs that year. Now that the event has grown, he said, AmeriGas is one of 7 booths.

“We do this every year and keep coming back,” said Mosley. “We’ve got one spot we sit at every year. They call us up and tell us when the [fishing derby] is and we’re there.”

 

 

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AmerGas Lake Isabella, CA is Committed to Community Rebuilding After a Devastating Fire

Lake Isabella AmeriGas

 

Every day AmeriGas locations across the nation host and participate in drives and events to support their local communities. July begins our #SummerofService to highlight the events our offices participated in this year.

 

In light of a recent fire that broke out on June 23, our AmeriGas team in Lake Isabella, CA is steadfastly on the road to recovery with their community. Deemed the 15th most destructive wildfire California history, burning over 48,000 acres, the Erskine fire took 309 homes and two lives just a few weeks ago.

“We were a tight-knit community to begin with, but this brought us even closer,” said Kelsey Brown, District Manager, AmeriGas Lake Isabella. “It was devastating, but seeing everyone come together across so many different organizations for the rebuilding process is great.”

Relief organizations, churches, and neighboring unaffected communities donated significant amounts of food, water, temporary shelter, and clothing to the displaced residents. The AmeriGas team put their heads together and decided to donate a product we know best; propane. Brown said temporary kitchens, churches, and other unaffected areas were able to use propane cylinders to cook for displaced residents and anyone who needed assistance. Despite the wildfire, the AmeriGas team was able to keep delivering to their unaffected customers and assist the local Fire Department to get propane out to residents in need and tag any tanks that were damaged in the fire.

“In our community we came up with the ‘All for one, One for all movement,” said Brown. “The goal is to gather as many people and organizations for rebuilding our community.”

The local radio station, a huge component to the Lake Isabella community, lost their repeater towers in the fire and currently do not have a way to broadcast. The AmeriGas team will be assisting in the effort to rebuild the radio station as a part of their commitment to the movement.

“We are thinking about the long term needs of our community, which is why we want to raise money for the radio station,” said Brown.  “It’s something the whole community listens to on a daily basis and really brings the community together.”

Brown said instead of the usual Customer Appreciation Day coming up in August, the AmeriGas team will be hosting Community Appreciation Day at the office.

“We’re inviting local law enforcement and our fire fighters and everyone in the community to come out to boost morale,” said Brown. “We are really looking forward to it and think it will be a great day!”

The Lake Isabella team is also committed to helping out some of their own who were impacted by the tragedy.

“Unfortunately we had one team member, Kevin, who lost his home in the fire,” said Brown. Despite losing his home, “Kevin kept busy assisting the community and we were able to fundraise for his rebuilding process.”

The Lake Isabella rebuilding effort is an ongoing process. If you would like to contribute to the efforts, please contact us for more information.

 

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AmeriGas Crystal City, MO Supports Veterans and Military Service Members with Meals and Reserved Parking

Every day AmeriGas locations across the nation host and participate in drives and events to support their local communities. July begins our #SummerofService to highlight the events our offices participated in this year.

Military Food Pantry Donation Drive

AmeriGas in Crystal City, MO is dedicated to veterans and military service members. During the month of July the team is running a food drive  to support a local food pantry  benefiting military families.

Matt Schmitt, AmeriGas District General Manager and Purple Heart recipient, said veterans are proud to put the needs of other people first, so many of them in need will not utilize a food pantry that is open to the public. He said they feel they are taking food away from someone else, so by having a food pantry specifically for military members, it takes that feeling away. It gives them a resource to help provide for their family. Those who  donate nonperishable food items to the AmeriGas office in Crystal City will be eligible for a propane discount.

Schmitt said military families with young children love canned vegetables, soups, stews and chili, and fruit. The food will be delivered in August when the Crystal City location receives their new ACE delivery truck and the food items will be packed in and delivered just like propane cylinders.

Along with their food collection, the Crystal City office has dedicated one parking space in front of their office for Purple Heart recipients. Schmitt said many wounded Veterans do not qualify for a Disabled Parking tag, so this is our way of thanking those that were wounded while in combat. The spot is clearly marked; painted bright purple for any customer to use during their visit to the AmeriGas location.

Purple Hear Parking Space

The Purple Heart is given to veterans who are killed or wounded in service. Schmitt was awarded the Purple Heart after he was wounded in August 2005 serving with the 220thEngineer Company of the Missouri National Guard in Yusifiyah, Iraq.

For more information about the military food pantry food drive, contact AmeriGas Crystal City at (636) 931-6740. We appreciate your donation of unexpired, nonperishable food items. Donations can be dropped off at our office located at 2475 N. Truman Blvd. Crystal City, MO 63019.

 


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AmeriGas Team in Gridley, CA Supports Red Suspenders Parade

Every day AmeriGas locations across the nation host and participate in drives and events to support their local communities. July begins our #SummerofService to highlight these events our offices participated in this year.

AmeriGas Propane Team Members

On May 21st our team from Gridley, Calif. represented AmeriGas in Gridley’s annual Red Suspenders Parade! The Red Suspenders Parade began in 1961 as an event to raise money for volunteer firemen and has evolved into the exciting event that it is today, supporting the entire Fire Department in Gridley. The parade occurs each May and this year there were an estimated 5,000 spectators.

The AmeriGas team in Gridley took home second place for their decorated truck last year. This year the team decorated a bobtail and a knuckle boom truck, in a patriotic theme of course, with lots of red balloons and streamers to support the Red Suspenders.

“This year we were striving for first place,” said Ed Leon, District General Manager. “ We haven’t received the results yet but we had a lot of fun!”

Leon said him and his team went out early the morning of the parade to decorate their trucks and prepare to hand out candy to spectators. He said although the event takes weeks of preparation, he is proud that his team carrying on the tradition of supporting their community and for bringing their relatives to help decorate and walk in the parade. Leon stressed that 5,000 spectators was a lot for their little town and the event is highly anticipated each year.

“This is a great way to get our name out there and we’re proud to sponsor such a great event,” said Leon.

AmeriGas was the only propane company in the parade this year. The Gridley team has participated in the Red Suspenders Parade three years in a row and is committed to participating in years to come. Way to go Gridley! We hope you win first place this year!

AmeriGas Propane Truck

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Summertime Inspired Grilling

Summertime Inspired Grilling

We love grilling out in the summertime! Check out these amazing recipes to make a healthy and fresh summer-inspired meal.

Grilled Avocados

2 ripe, fresh  avocados
2 Tbsp.  fresh lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
As needed:  Seasoned salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh salsa, optional for half shell version

For Grilled Slices:

Cut avocado in half, seed, peel, and slice. Drizzle with fresh lime or lemon juice and brush lightly with olive oil. Gently place slices on propane grill for 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt to taste.

For Grilled Half Shells:

Cut avocado in half and remove seed. Drizzle with fresh lime or lemon juice and brush lightly with olive oil. Gently place cut side down on propane grill for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Optional: fill with fresh salsa or your favorite fresh ingredients.

Makes a great accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.

Cedar Plank Salmon

2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons mild honey or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 (2-pounds) salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick)
Equipment: a cedar grilling plank (about 15 by 6 inches)

PREPARATION

Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 2 hours, keeping it immersed.Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure . Open vents on bottom and lid of charcoal grill.Stir together mustard, honey, rosemary, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.

Refreshing Peach Iced Tea 

3 cups water
3 family size tea bags
2 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup water 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the tea bags, and steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Meanwhile, place peaches with 1 cup water into the jar of a blender, and blend until very smooth. Pour the peach mixture, tea, and stevia powder into a 1 gallon pitcher. Fill the pitcher to the top with water, and stir until blended.

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Top 9 Cheap and Easy Backyard Upgrades

With summer in full swing, I’m sure you’re looking to have friends and family over to eat, play and relax in your backyard. There are just two problems—you’re backyard’s a little dated and your budget is a little sparse. But there’s no need to stress! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite, budget-friendly backyard upgrades.

1.  Use cinder blocks unconventionally.  Cinder blocks are great for cheap, yet chic, backyard updates. With cinder blocks you can build sleek outdoor seating or add some urban touches to your garden. With prices as low as $1 in stores (and free on Craigslist), your options are endless with cinder blocks!

2.  Plant tall grass for added privacy.  Looking for some extra privacy? Tall grass is not only a cheap alternative to traditional fencing, but it’s also much more pleasant to look at! Ornamental grass (tall grass) comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors—so I’m sure you can find something that fits your style. BONUS: Plant your tall grass in a pot or trough for a mobile fence (that can also be used on decks and patios)!

3.  Add color and texture to your fire pit.  One of the great things about owning a propane fire pit is the ability to swap out the toppings. You can create a serene atmosphere by using lava stones, which resemble river rocks, or you can hone in on a more modern aesthetic by incorporating glass toppings. And the fun doesn’t stop there—fire pit toppings are also available in an array of colors!

4.  Build a living wall.  Living walls are awesome, and building your own is super cheap and super easy (you probably already own most, if not all, of the required materials). You can build living walls from old wood pallets, lattices, picture frames, rain gutters—seriously, the list is endless! Get some inspiration here.

5.  Hang lights and lanterns from your trees and/or fence.  Set the mood in your backyard by simply hanging lighting from your trees. Set a more festive tone by hanging globe lights from your trees and around your fence. Looking for something with a little more whimsy? Hanging lanterns from your trees are a great alternative! Just make sure you’re using battery operated lighting in your lanterns!

6.  Build an auxiliary cart for easy grilling.  Don’t you just love having to run back inside every time you’re grilling because you forgot something? Yeah, didn’t think so. That’s why this DIY auxiliary cart is actually pretty ingenious. All you need are a few old fruit crates (you can also get the same effect with these Ikea crates), swivel casters, some hand-held power tools and you’re one step closer to easy grilling!

7.  Define your outdoor spaces.  The easiest (and cheapest) way to update your backyard is by simply defining your outdoor spaces. Your backyard should house separate areas for cooking, eating, playing and relaxing. Just a few furniture moves, and you’ll have a new backyard!

8.  Plant lemongrass to repel mosquitoes.  If you haven’t invested in a propane mosquito trap, then you should seriously consider planting lemongrass in your backyard. Citronella (yup—just like the candle!) is actually a natural oil found within lemongrass, which is why its lemongrass is such a powerful mosquito repellant!

9.  Old pallets make great walkways.  Have an old pallet lying around? Then it’s time to break out your crowbar and put that pallet to use! By simply disassembling your pallet, you’ve got yourself a rustic garden walkway for your backyard. And this backyard hack won’t cost you any money and minimal work is required! Check out the tutorial here.

Do you have any cheap and easy backyard updates? If so, share with us in the comments section below!

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