This morning Jane over at Hard Work Homestead was agonizing a little over the fact that she may have to give up her freezer(s) and refrigerator when they switch over to their soon-to-be ready solar energy system.
That got me to thinking about my own refrigeration system which definitely got bumped up a notch this summer.
I got the commercial refrigerator that I've wanted for a long time. Twenty-one cubic feet and it's not even my main refrigerator. Its job is as a storage refrig in addition to the one in the kitchen.
It's my pride and joy. (Still can't believe I'm this enamored with a refrigerator!) We spent a couple of hours, blood, sweat and tears getting the monster into its present position this summer. (Okay, no blood or tears involved; only sweat.) Currently it sits at one end of what we call our "entry room" which also holds a large outdoor coat closet, a small chest freezer, a broom closet, some file cabinets and storage space that I use as my pantry area because my kitchen proper is so small. (The door in the picture with the curtain and valance goes out into our attached garage.) Eventually, this huge refrig will go into my new pantry which will be directly off my new kitchen. Eventually. Someday. As soon as we win the lottery.
Since I do nearly all my cooking from scratch with whole ingredients, I really do need the space the second refrig offers. I store my various grains, nuts, seeds, kombucha, coffee, maple syrup, economy size bottle of soy sauce, popcorn, potatoes, and beets in there as basics. It also is holding this year's entire crop of carrots because we've found refrigeration keeps them better than any other method we've tried.
Hmmm, looks like quite the stash of beer in there, too. Let's just say we're ready for the holidays and leave it at that.
This is the interior of my kitchen refrig. (Just for the record, this is the emptiest you will ever see it. Usually it is stuffed to the gills, but I've been concentrating on using up leftovers for the last couple of days. Also throwing out some items that were yearning to go to the compost pile.) You might notice that it doesn't have a freezer section. Nope, just all refrigerator. That wasn't by choice but rather the only way this particular refrig was made.
It's a Crosley which is rated very energy efficient. We've never had one single problem with it in the fourteen years we've had it. Every now and then either hubby or I will cock our head and ask, "What's that noise?" Turns out it's the Crosley motor running. Seriously, it goes on that seldom that we're still apparently not used to it.
My husband has always wanted to build a refrigerator that runs on absolutely no energy source. He has a file of plans for one that maybe in forty or fifty years when he has nothing else to do, he can finally build. It's basically a box (of any size you want) that is flush with an interior wall of the kitchen and sticks out into the elements on the other side. The temperature is controlled with vents, and I do think we could make it work efficiently for possibly three seasons of the year up here. Maybe even in the summer it would be feasible if it were built with a compartment for a block of ice.
Well now, I'm just sure this post on my refrigerators has been one of the most interesting you've come across in a long while. I don't know what set me off on it except for thinking about Jane's dilemma on and off all day. If she and her husband could figure out how to make a constant supply of ice blocks year round, she's got one beautiful, old ice box she could use for their refrigeration when they pull the plug on grid power. Go take a look at it if you wish. It's a beauty.
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