Friday, 28 March 2008

Fridge Cleaning.

Rhonda Jean (see my last post) is drawing up a list of interesting blogs, a list largely donated by her visitors, one of whom was kind enough to mention me! It's only in it's infancy, but it's already drawn me to several new discoveries, and my own list of links will surely grow as a result. Before that, her previous couple of posts have centred around cleaning fridges; a useful reminder to undertake one of those enjoyable jobs that comes round with pleasurable regularity. But not, sadly, for this slave to all tasks domestic. Because I normally keep my fridge unplugged, and have done for some time now. So, beyond the simple pulling of the plug, why and how do I?

The first thing to say is that I live in the UK and that our weather here is distinctly variable and often quite cold. Were it not for that, I would not have been tempted to even try to live without. And secondly that I don't actually live without a fridge; when summer arrives and the weather turns too hot I do turn it on, but for a good part of the year I manage very well without.

It is a few years now since I took stock of the amount of electricity being consumed by my various household appliances, and I found myself slightly surprised by the discovery that over 80% of my electric bill was generated by my fridge and freezer. The freezer was the first to go; it tended to fill with food that I'd bought 'on offer', but the saving at the checkout was more than offset by the subsequent utility bill. Other than with ice-cream and oysters (separately, I've not tried them together yet!) , I didn't miss it either. Nor did I ever have to wonder whether anything I'd found tucked away right at the bottom of the freezer was still entirely safe to eat either.

Once I'd adjusted to the loss of the freezer, it seemed the natural progression to try life without a fridge. Again I surprised myself again with the ease with which I adjusted. No longer the weekly shop at the supermarket; I buy fresh produce on an 'as and when' basis. I tend to find I do 2, occasionally 3 significant shopping expeditions a week, and get the stuff that has a very short shelf life such as milk meat and fish from my local shops daily. I do have cool storage in my kitchen almost regardless of the weather. And I live within easy walking distance of a wonderful butcher, a fishmonger, and a baker, as well as a general grocery.

Last summer I found I only turned my fridge on for a couple of weeks, and that was only because I had guests staying who needed one (or thought they did).

I know that most people simply don't have these options. Having a large family soon renders the weekly shop the only viable option for urban living, and it is difficult to imagine children deprived of a fridge to raid whenever the mood takes them! But for me the fridge and freezer feel like luxuries now.

You would probably think that this deprives me entirely of the pleasure of cleaning the fridge but you'd be wrong. If a fridge sits too long closed and unused, the air inside becomes stale and the fridge feels musty. Happily that's reason enough to give the fridge a thorough wash, I do always like to have it ready in case I want to use it. So when I read Rhonda Jean on the subject I did open the door in hope...


Rebecca Davis Winters said...

How I wish that I too could go without a refrigerator! But alas, hubby and I are addicted to cheese, which pretty much requires it.

How easy it is to grow dependent on these electrical appliances.

Franacropan said...

Good point about the cost of storing "bargains".