We have been living without a refrigerator since yesterday. Plain and simple, our refrigerator is a lemon. We have only had it for about 5-6 years, and we've had to fix it 3 times prior to yesterday. Each time we pay to fix it and have to frantically eat and/or throw away good food while we wait for it to be repaired. Yesterday, we decided we have had enough and made the gut-wretching decision to buy a new one. Ugh!!! It absolutely killed us to make that decision, and we were probably the most unexcited consumers the salesperson has ever seen. The whole time the salesperson droned on about the newest technology and features, I was thinking this money could have gone to so many more useful purposes. Not that a refrigerator is not useful, but I expected more years from ours. Our saving grace is our small chest freezer. With the refrigerator being so unreliable, I started using the freezer to store our meat. Fortunately, the temperature is hovering at freezing or below outside, so we shoved what we could into our chest freezer, and packed everything else in coolers and containers and put them in the workshop. Meanwhile, I've been using what I can because most of the fruits and vegetables are now partially defrosted, and they will never be the same if I try to refreeze them. I have an interesting soup concoction in the slow cooker right now, and tomorrow I plan to can some blackberry jam, which has been on my list anyway, and probably bake some cranberry/blueberry muffins. I made a joke this morning about going out to the spring house to get breakfast materials and had to tell Nate what a spring house was. So, if you don't know what a spring house is, here's your pioneer lesson for the day.
A spring house, or springhouse, is a small building used for refrigeration once commonly found in rural areas before the advent of electric refrigeration. It is usually a one-room building constructed over the source of a spring. The water of the spring maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. In settings where no natural spring is available, another source of natural running water, such as a small creek or diverted portion of a larger creek, may be used. The main use of a spring house is for the long-term storage of food that would otherwise spoil, such as meat, fruit or dairy products.