Tuesday, 8 August 2017

09:04 – It was 64.5F (18C) when I took Colin out at 0645, drizzling and foggy. We’ve had about 1.7 inches (4.5 cm) of rain over the last couple of days. The little dog showed up briefly yesterday morning, but we haven’t seen her since then.

Barbara picked out a refrigerator yesterday at Blevins, on her way home from the gym. It’s a black Whirlpool model. The new one is smaller than the old one, about 19 cubic feet versus I think 23, but that’s not a problem. The old one was larger than we really needed. The new one isn’t as deep as the old one, which keeps it from sticking out as far into the room. The new one arrived hinged on the right, which is the way the old one was set up. To me, it’d make more sense to have it hinged on the left so that the door would open away from the counters and work area, which the delivery guys offered to do, but Barbara likes it the way it is.

Barbara never liked our current stainless steel model since it was first delivered and she learned that magnets don’t stick to stainless steel. The new one is already covered with refrigerator magnets, notepads, and so on. The ice-maker was optional on this model, so we didn’t get it. I’m perfectly happy with using ice-cube trays.

When we powered up the new one, we left the temperature settings at the default “recommended” levels. I stuck lab thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer compartments. The refrigerator soon stabilized at about 3.9C (39F) and the freezer at -18C (0F), which is what everyone recommends.

The delivery guys hauled the old one down to the unfinished area of the basement, where we’d already made room for it. We let it sit overnight unplugged and with the doors open to get it completely defrosted and dried out. Today, we’ll plug it back in and set the temperature controls for both the refrigerator and freezer as low as they’ll go. We did have both of them set on 3/5, but I’ll crank those both up to 5/5. The refrigerator compartment may actually freeze, but that’s fine with me.

This afternoon while Barbara is out volunteering, I’ll clear a bunch of stuff out of the freezer in the garage and move it down to the new-old refrigerator. That’s mostly two categories: frozen agricultural antibiotics and other drugs, and relatively high-value #10 canned foods like Augason Farms powdered eggs. I plan to pack the downstairs refrigerator/freezer as full as I can get it, which means adding stuff like canned meats, jars of Alfredo sauce, cans of evaporated milk, and so on. Before I do that, I’ll intentionally freeze sample containers of each to make sure they don’t burst when frozen. Until I know that freezing won’t damage the containers, I’ll keep the refrigerator set at 3/5 to prevent freezing. And there’s always more stuff that I’d like to refrigerate or freeze: less stable chemicals, heirloom seeds, etc. etc. I won’t ever be short of stuff if we have unused space.

Barbara is delighted at the prospect of getting so much space freed up in the upstairs vertical freezer. As it stands, at least a third and probably half of the freezer space is taken up with #10 cans, retort pouches of antibiotics, and so on. She’ll have lots more space available for actual frozen foods. I don’t mind changing a lot of the stuff from the upstairs freezer to the downstairs refrigerator compartment. Freezing stuff extends shelf life more than refrigerating it, but the latter is fine.

And I already have some tentative plans for that extra space. I talked to Lori a week or two ago and told her that if she ever decided to sell bulk beef she could count on us for a quarter of a beef. When Frances and Al were up last weekend I mentioned it to them and they said they might be willing to go in for a quarter themselves.