I’m old enough to remember my old granny taking the wheel barrow around to the ice house to pick up a massive block of ice to put in her ice box to keep her (sadly), rather meagre supplies cool.
So it seems pretty fabulous that it is possible on the hottest of days, to keep food and drinks cold in a big plastic and metal box using only electricity and magic.
But what I didn’t know was how important it is to look after that plastic and metal box. Your dad used to tell you to turn off all the lights as you went out of the room and to close the doors after you in winter, and your mum would rouse on you for opening the fridge door and letting all the cold air out while you pondered why she would not keep all the immediately ready to eat snacks you wanted and instead chose to keep boring things like uncooked liver or vegetables in there.
Not only was the warm and humid air you were letting in waking up all the bacteria on any of the fresh and cooked foods in that fridge, making them feel like cell division was suddenly a very attractive pastime, but once the thermostat of the fridge recognised the temperature had risen, the compressor would kick in and start to cool the inside of the fridge down again . A good thing? Yes, good for the unattended liver and vegetables; not so good for the compressor.
Overworking the compressor will wear it out. It will kick in and be fridgily noisy. Overworking the compressor constantly will cause the windings of the motor to all eventually fuse together and then the compressor will be quiet for ever more and your fridge and freezer will become warm and cozy bacteria nurseries.
There are so many more exciting things to impart about fridge care.. so stay tuned.
Granny did buy a fridge eventually, in 1967, but it was only a tiny bar fridge. It was usually pretty empty. It was another generation back then. Heaven help us if we opened it up and stared inside!