In the olden days, Grandma had an “icebox” — (sometimes oldtimers still call a refrigerator a frigidaire or an icebox) which was literally a box with ice in it.In some areas, people could arrange for ice to be delivered on a regular basis, sort of like milk delivery.
Before electricity, keeping things cold was a challenge. Folks would cut ice out of a lake in the winter and bury it in straw to insulate it, in hopes of keeping it a bit longer. A cold cellar was common — usually, a glorified hole in the ground. If they were lucky enough to live by a cold, running stream, a cellar was sometimes built over it. Or things were just put in the stream to keep cold.
The Damsel fondly remembers eating watermelon chilled in a stream, but although she’s very old, she’s never experienced being without a refrigerator for any length of time. Grandma would be purely amazed at the spacious “iceboxes” we now have. It’s pretty much taken for granted that everyone has one of these nifty gadgets that, for the most part, just work 24/7 without us having to worry or fuss. The main concern is keeping it clean and organized.
These beauties are big enough that we actually LOSE stuff in them. Items can get buried, overlooked, or left to grow hairs until they are unrecognizable. Folks stand in front of them with the door open, gazing in at the bounty of food, while the nice cold air streams out.
Here’s one possible solution:
Write a list of what’s inside, directly on the fridge itself, with a dry erase marker. The Damsel admits she felt weird doing this. She has a strong compulsion against writing on walls. But after taking a deep breath, she managed to do the deed.
She’s not convinced she’ll do this forever, but it cost nothing to try. Time will tell what the compliance level will be at the Cottage, because in order for this to work the best, everyone has to erase the items they take out and consume, and write down the things they buy and put in.
And, it’s not guaranteed to stop fridge-gazing, since sometimes we do that because we don’t know what we want to eat, not because we don’t know what’s in there.
What do you think? Good idea or bad?
Edit: after a week, the Damsel has discovered that some dry-erase markers come off much better than others. Test in an inconspicuous spot before you do something you might regret–like mess up the front of your pretty fridge.