Category Archives: A very fine house

Making room

It’s time again to observe Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Actually, COYRDay was either yesterday or Friday, depending on whom you ask, but better a late observance than no observance at all.

Yesterday (when I thought about starting this project, and then decided to go out for a walk in the sunshine instead), the refrigerator was not especially overcrowded, but it was definitely a mess:
door beforefridge before

This afternoon, after much unloading and dismantling and triage and discarding and scrubbing and drying and reassembling and rearranging… Continue reading Making room


Our house came with an upright freezer, a big white beast that sat humming at the foot of the stairs in our basement. Unlike our asbestos-wrapped boiler, the freezer wasn’t original equipment (there were no household freezers in 1908); it had belonged to the previous owner, who had used it for 20 years, and didn’t want to move it to her new home. She left lots of other things in the house that we didn’t want, but we were happy to have the freezer. Gradually, I filled it with local vegetables and fruit, meat and chicken, two-serving packages of homemade soups and pasta sauce, small bags of roasted tomatoes, and an ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. Sure it was old, and not at all energy-efficient, but having a freezer was great… until it died.

In mid-March, I went to the basement for a baggie of roasted tomatoes, and noticed that some of the items in the freezer door seemed a little… less than solid. Perhaps I’d left the door ajar the last time? I checked the temperature setting, and closed the door firmly. When I went back to check the next morning, things were clearly beginning to thaw. I salvaged what seemed safe – our pasta sauce that week was made with roasted tomatoes I would otherwise have doled out a few at a time until summer — but the meat was a total loss. We cleaned up the mess. Then we started thinking about a new freezer.

Yesterday, two sturdy delivery guys from Sears hefted a new freezer down the narrow steps to our basement, and took the old, dead beast away. I’d show you a picture of the new freezer, but really, it isn’t much to look at. This one is a chest freezer, as they’re much more energy efficient than upright models. When we were looking, Paul asked me to reach into all of the models we considered, to make sure that I could reach the very bottom of the box. While my fingers were inches away from the bottoms of some, I can touch the bottom of this one.

One of my tasks for the summer is to fill the new freezer with local produce. I started this evening, rinsing a half flat of raspberries from today’s farmers’ market, spreading them out on cookie sheets, arranging the cookie sheets in the freezer. Tomorrow, when the berries are frozen solid, I’ll bag them up, and start on the second half flat… unless I decide to make that one into jam.

raspberries in ragged rows

For anyone who noticed that I missed posting yesterday, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Our host’s server was down last night from 8:30 pm – 1:30 am, my prime blogging hours. I gave up trying to get in to Music and Cats at around 11 pm, and posted a photo on flickr instead. Does that count?