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Living without a fridge??

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Post by Aberlemno on 2nd April 2010, 7:29 am

I grew up in the days before fridges - it was the early 1960s before we got a fridge which had been converted from gas to electric. In fact, we still have it and it will freeze a cucumber at 10 paces!! Mum used to keep meat overnight in the meat safe (like Zoe mentioned - zinc holey box), but mainly shopped on a daily basis. To keep the milk from going off she would put it in a bowl of cold water, which worked pretty well. Cheese, however, despite being well-wrapped in greaseproof, always looked a bit sweaty with a cracked hard outer "shell" . . . Butter regularly went rancid in summer. So yes, you can manage, but there are certain things I would be dubious about leaving laying about on a warm summer's day - leftover rice being one of them.

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Post by ACarLessFamily on 2nd April 2010, 8:50 am

@Aberlemno I agree that not all good would do well without a fridge, butter being the main culprit I think (as well as meat kept more than a day?). At the moment I am experimenting with alternatives to traditional fridge food. A lot baking that calls for butter/spread can use vegetable oil instead for example. Left over rice is another good example, but people can get ill from bad storing in the fridge as well! Luckily I have two dogs so leftovers is rarely an issue Wink
It all comes down to circumstances as well.
If your house is all electric then its very much worth having a fridge/freezer. That way you can cook a big meal and freeze another to save on cooking costs.

We are lucky to have a log burner with enough room on top to cook on so it dosn't matter energy wise when we only cook enough for one meal as the fire is busy anyway, heating the room and the water.

Talking to my mum the other day she said Nan used t keep the milk in a bucket of water in the summer and that worked fine, maybe we forget the cooling properties of readily avaliable tap water. So many things to try!! lol
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Post by polgara on 2nd April 2010, 9:50 am

Dig a hole, line it with stones or polystyrene, sink a bucket in it fill said bucket with cold water put butter, milk etc in bucket, cover with polystyrene &/or wood. This is what we used to do & it worked very well. We never had a fridge till about 1965.

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Post by ACarLessFamily on 2nd April 2010, 10:06 am

@Polgara I thik a hole in the ground is definatly one of the top ideas. Really looking forwards to trying these out!
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Post by Aberlemno on 3rd April 2010, 9:03 am

The polystyrene box works well. My daughter and friends went to a Music Festival and the lads in the next-door tent made their own mini-fridge (for keeping the beer cool of course) from a polystyrene box and a bag of ice cubes. Lasted several days above ground. . . below it even more efficient.

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Post by polgara on 3rd April 2010, 11:00 am

It is efficient. It is the sort of thing we used to do at scout camp as well about 40 years ago. As well as in the garden when we had a heat wave. Had a walk in pantry which was good for the normal times as it was 2 steps down from ground level & never in the sun. How I wish I gad one now.

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Post by bbaybe on 22nd January 2011, 5:43 am

In case you're interested, you could also preserve your food in jars or dehydrate it. There are ways of getting around using a refrigerator without risking food poisoning(meat, by the way, should never be left at higher than 40 degrees for more than two hours, preferably one, and milk should never be left for more than one hour, when possible(I've had culinary training and food safety classes, lol). However, it sounds as though that should not be an issue here. There's no meat or milk to worry about.) I, personally, keep a lot of dehydrated food and plan to eventually purchase a pressure canner, when I can afford one. I intend to eventually eliminate the use of my refrigerator altogether. It is a waste of power and not a necessity if you can use much less drying or canning food and being done with it.
Whatever you decide to do is really up to you, there are a few ideas mentioned here I would certainly use, as well. I hope you can find a good method. Good luck!
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Post by bbaybe on 22nd January 2011, 5:55 am

I'm sorry! I made a mistake in my last post here! That's 40 degrees FAHRENHEIT! Celsius, it would be about four degrees, so please don't let meat or milk sit at more than FOUR degrees for an extended period of time.

I can't believe I did that!
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Post by MrsC on 22nd January 2011, 9:24 am

Laughing In an early morning fog here (still not had my first cuppa of the day) I worryingly didn't notice that mistake on my first read. Just sort of nodded to myself and thought "yeah don't leave meat in a warm room" Laughing

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