IN FINANCIAL circles there is a saying, “Before you invest, investigate.” Very sound advice it is, whether applied to stocks and bonds or some important purchase for your home.
Suppose, for instance, you are one of the many housekeepers who are equipping a new kitchen or bringing an old one up to date. You are thinking, perhaps, of a mechanical refrigerator. Well, there is no doubt about that being a good investment, considering the dividends it pays. In the first place, it cuts food bills by preventing spoilage of perishable supplies and waste of left-overs. Then, you are able to buy to better advantage, in larger quantities and at special prices. Quite a saving when you count it all up!
Besides, there are the comfort, convenience and safety it offers; the extra hours of leisure, the chance to plan ahead, and the feeling of preparedness for unexpected guests and other emergencies. The mechanical refrigerator makes it possible to have greater variety in our menus—a fact which every member of the household appreciates. Think of the jellies, frozen desserts and other dainties you can “cook with cold.” It allows you to prepare certain dishes in advance and eliminates much last-minute fuss and bustle. And there are always the “makings” of good things to eat and drink on its well-stocked shelves.
Yes, you can expect a good return of the money you invest in an electric or gas refrigerator. But investigate before you buy in order to get the best value for your particular needs.
And what are we to look for? What are some of the points we must consider when selecting from the many makes and styles on display at the shops? We can be assured of satisfaction if we buy the product of a reliable, well-established manufacturer, one who has experience in the field and a high reputation to maintain, whose trademark stands for quality and value. Make sure that the manufacturer is represented in your district by a dealer who is able to give you prompt and efficient service if necessary. There is not much to get out of order in an up-to-date, well-built refrigerator, but we feel happier to know that we may have experienced aid anv time we need it.
Among the different models which bear the trademark of ‘"nown manufacturers, there is just the one for you, w ether your family is large or small, your kitchen spacious or tmy. There is a price range to suit any purse, depending on size, finish, and the little refinements which are standard equipment or “extras.”
Buy a Big One
' I 'IIIS MATTER of size is important. Housekeepers are sometimes tempted to think that they can “make a small one do,” only to be sorry afterward when they realize the labor-saving and time-saving possibilities of the storage space. Remember, if you entertain a good deal you will often want to accommodate supplies for a larger number of persons than usual. Then, too, extra demands will be made on the space in case of sickness in the family; and if you have a growing family your needs may be greater than at present. So buy with these things in mind and get a refrigerator as commodious as you can afford, considering, of course, the space available in your kitchen. After all, although the cost of a large one is higher, the upkeep is very little more, and a refrigerator is one of those things which you buy only once in years. It doesn’t wear out in a short time and it doesn't get out of style.
You have a choice of a one-door or two-door cabinet and different finishes. Porcelain is most satisfactory a smooth, hard surface which will withstand all kinds of wear and tear, and give years of service. It is more expensive, but, again, remember that you are making a lifetime purchase. Even though you may decide on another finish for the outside of the cabinet, a porcelain lining is to be desired as it is easy to keep clean merely by wiping with a damp cloth. When examining the inside, look for a hard, seamless surface, rounded comers, well-constructed, strong, conveniently placed shelves.
Note, too, the fit and balance of the d(X)r, the hardware and the general sturdiness of the whole cabinet. See if it has those features you've set your heart on perhaps a container for salad greens, a deep tray for storing an extra supply of ice cubes or frozen desserts, ample space for tall bottles, a rack for eggs, a place to keep the rolling-pin chilled, and other refinements which you will enjoy. Most up-to-date models are equipped with a temperature-control device which allows fast freezing when desired by merely setting the switch. Defrosting is now quite simple and is done by touch of a button or other device conveniently located. Look for all these things and take them into consideration in relation to your housekeeping. And choose a design that will please you every time you look at it, because it will be in your kitchen a long time.
Before deciding what to purchase, make enquiries about the installation. Is it efficient and will the machine maintain an even low temperature? Is the motor silent? Have the
machine attached and listen to it. It may not be quite so noiseless in your small kitchen as it was in a large salesroom, but most of the well-known makes are very quiet in K-ration, with little or no vibration.
DE AS INQUISITIVE as you like. The dealer will appredate your interest, and if you take the trouble to investigate essential |x>ints you will lx* a satisfied customer —provided, of course, you use your refrigerator properly when you get it home. And that’s something else again. Where are you going to put it? The best location in your kitchen will depend to a large extent ujxm the shape and size of your ospace. If you can, have it near the service door where groceries are delivered and close to work centres for preparing food. You will save steps by this arrangement. Follow the directions which come with your machine for oiling, defrosting and using it, so that you may get the maximum of service. The manufacturer knows what should be done better than your neighbor, and has prepared explicit instructions which apply to your particular model. Just how often it will lx necessary to defrost will dejxnd on the weather, the number of times you are opening the door, the amount of food in the refrigerator and the way it is placed. Never attempt to hurry the process by poking at the coils, but when the ice is melted, clean and dry the chilling unit and drip pan, fill the ice trays, and wipe off before placing them in jx>sition again. Daily care of the compartment means no more than wiping up spilled fixxl and keeping the inside clean and spotless.
Place the fixxl to the best advantage. It is astonishing the amount you can pack away on the shelves in refrigerator dishes which set one on top of the other, and in other containers designed for refrigerator use. But you must avoid overcrowding, as it interferes with the circulation of air and lessens the efficiency of the machine. Cover all fixxls which are not protected by their own covering. Greens and fresh vegetables may go in the special container which keeps them crisp and in good condition. Remove outer leaves and waste portions such as carrot tops. Waxed paper is handy for covering bowls of left-overs, butter, cooked meats and other dishes. Set the most perishable fixxls such as milk and butter in the coldest place, although there are not more than a fewdegrees difference in the fixxl compartments of a well-made machine.
Use your refrigerator for all it is worth in the planning and preparation of meals. Prepare some dishes ahead of time and take advantage of the constant cold to keep them until you wish to serve. The good manager will have a roll of cookie and pastry dough on the shelves ready for use at a moment’s notice, and there are all sorts of ingredients for delightful dishes which may he stored for use as required. Cooking with cold is a modem develop-
ment in meal preparation. In the next issue we will suggest a number of dishes which can be prepared in your refrigerator. You are making an important investment when you buy this piece of equipment: and you will get the highest dividends if you choose carefully, set it in a convenient location, take care of it, and use it to the fullest advantage to keep food safe and prepare appetizing meals for your family as well as for your guests.
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