The miracle and novelty of refrigeration

Modern kitchen in new construction homeIt was not long ago that many homes in the United States didn’t have refrigerators. In fact, it was only in the 1930s that fridges became affordable enough for 60% of households in the US to own one and many people in the UK didn’t own one until the 1970s, that is pretty recent!  (source: Wikipedia)

Before that people would grow food or go to the local store daily.  In many other countries throughout the world, refrigeration is still a novelty.  We take this novelty for granted, we can keep things frozen for a couple months, we can keep milk cold for a week, and we can go to the store once a week to have more than enough food to keep our families fed each night.

Last week, my husband and I were forced to realize just how dependent we’ve become on our refrigerator when the compressor went out again.  Unfortunately, the compressor isn’t a quick fix.  We’ve been waiting patiently for the part to arrive so that we can have the repair person back out to fix the fridge.  All told we will probably go a week without a fridge.

And, we’ve realized that the fridge is more than a casual appliance in our home, it has become a necessity.  Two coolers sit in our kitchen loaded with ice and the items that we could salvage when the fridge decided it preferred to be balmy and warm to ice cold.  We have become fast friends with most departments in our local grocery store.  The weekly grocery shopping that we took for granted have turned into daily trips for things that will spoil plus more ice to keep the coolers cold.

PG&E recently had a reminder on the radio about safety if your power goes out due to the stormy weather.  It is a good idea to unplug all of your major appliances and wait to plug them back in until the power returns.  With so many of our major appliances run by computers or electronic controls now, it really is smarter to protect them from the power surges that happen after a power outage to avoid more expensive repairs later.

So tip of the week, check to make sure your major appliances are working well.  Maybe take a moment to think about what you would do if you had to live without your fridge for more than 24 hrs or a week.  It is a good idea to be prepared.

I know one thing for sure, we are looking forward to having a nice, cold fridge back in our home.