February 28, 2021

"The second refrigerator can be a homey holdover or the latest model. And, for many, it can be aspirational. It may fulfill a yen for storage space."

"For others, its contents may function as edible insurance policies during lean years. And there are countless other reasons for a second fridge: frequent entertaining; storing kimchi or other specialties that take time to age; a tendency toward hoarding; or simply the cost of getting rid of a refrigerator.... The Vincents have passed on their love of multiple refrigerators to their daughter, Robyn Penniegraft, 46, who lives next door. Between the two households, they have five refrigerators for five people — not to mention other appliances such as an outdoor wine chiller and a stand-alone freezer from 1972, two years before Ms. Penniegraft was born. Appliances tend to arrive in 10-year intervals to the Vincent household — the 1982 fridge, the 1992 one. Ms. Penniegraft keeps a stand freezer and her second refrigerator in the family’s garage, side by side like fraternal twins. Last fall, the freezer contained a Noah’s ark of meat for the fried chicken and signature giant lasagnas she often cooks for friends; the other once housed the products that Ms. Penniegraft, a hair stylist, and her husband, Dante, mixed up for a now-defunct hair-care line." 

From "When One Fridge Is Not Enough/For many Americans, a second fridge — and sometimes a third — is another member of the family" (NYT). 

From the comments: 

As a life-long resident of the Midwest, this article cracked me up. During my childhood in the 70's I can't think of one classmate or family friend that didn't have a second fridge and a freezer (this group of people spans all social and economic classes). And most people also had a canning celler. My husband and I still receive our beef a quarter at a time, as in, 100+lb of meat, equivalent to a quarter of a full carcass, raised by a family member. We have friends that raise chickens, slaughter once a year, so 6-10 chickens go in the freezer too. Ice cream is delivered to our house (three cheers for Schwans!), it is bought in bulk, and in the freezer. Today, I only live 25 min from a grocery store, growing up it was more than that. My husband grew up in a family of 8 kids, they had three fridges, 2 giant freezers, a walk-in egg cooler and a giant garden that provided fresh food and was also preserved and eaten year-round; they were not rich, just self sufficient. I still can fruit, salsa, and meat and freeze my own sweet corn, not because we have to but because it's so much better than store-bought....

114 comments:

J Severs said...

Another expedition to terra incognita for city-dwellers living in tiny apartments.

Oh Yea said...

They write a article on having a 2nd fridge and no mention of beer? Talk about out of touch.

tim maguire said...

Same as the commenter. The only reason to not have a second freezer is space. The kitchen fridge is for things in active rotation—perishables, leftovers, condiments. Anything longer term (the monthly meat delivery, the extra jars of apple butter, practically anything from Costco) needs to go somewhere else.

rhhardin said...

I have a small 12v travel freezer in the basement for when the power goes out.

Harsh Pencil said...

no second fridge (although freezer in garage). No second oven (how often do you need both?). But a life saver when lots of kids in house was two dishwashers.

Achilles said...

There are people in this world that are truly unaware of how small their world is.

Gator said...

Yeah, I grew up solidly lower-middle class and every family that had a garage had a 2nd refrigerator/freezer in it. We don't currently (actually never) have/had a garage but the two houses we owned we kept a 2nd fridge in the mudroom. As stated, the main fridge is for daily use, the 2nd fridge is for longer term storage or emergencies.

Mattman26 said...

What’s next, a searing inquiry into the junk drawer?

tcrosse said...

Whatever happened to the local freezer plant or locker club? My grandfather kept chickens on the outskirts of Watertown, WI, and had a locker full of chickens in the freezer plant downtown. This was many years ago.

chickelit said...

I smiled when I learned the colloquial Spanish word for "fridge" -- la nevera. It reminded me of living in California and looking to the east. Language is full of these little pleasures if you're just open to them.

Tom T. said...

My friends who hunt would use the garage fridge for turkey parts, etc.

Michael K said...

When I Mwas a kid we also bought beef by the side or quarter. We had a horizontal freezer. One summer the power went out while we were in Michigan and the contents of the freezer rotted. Could not get the smell out of it and had to junk it.

My step son has a freezer full of salmon and chicken but he has a backup generator for it.

JK Brown said...

Where do people without a garage refrigerator keep their deer heads? Or when the kids are teenagers, the soda?

Joe Smith said...

I had a yen for storage when I lived in Japan.

Whose making fun of preppers and Mormons now?

JAORE said...

Boy.

Compelling, thought provoking, hard hitting articles like this make me re-think my practice of NOT subscribing to the NYT.

Although that might have had merit during the great TP shortage of 2020.

wendybar said...

We have a giant chest freezer in the basement, and an extra refrigerator in the room we call a pantry (old garage made into a mud room/laundry room/ pantry right off the kitchen. My husband cooks for a stress reliever, and we have a food saver to cryovac leftovers for quick and easy meals!!) We use the refrigerator there for extra beverages mostly. We also have a dorm sized refrigerator out in our garage for when we need a beer after shoveling snow or mowing the lawn!!

GingerBeer said...

What do New Yorkers do when they win the Meat Raffle?

John Borell said...

In my part of flyover country, if you don’t have a beer fridge, you’re weird.

Most are in the garage. Some are in the house (ours is in the laundry room next to the second freezer).

Don’t know how “city” people survive without them. But that’s their business, not mine.

James K said...

I understand now why the NYT had no room to cover the Hunter Biden story and Joe's involvement, Joe's obvious dementia, Kamala's and other Dems' incitement of BLM rioters. Second refrigerators!

Spiros said...

Just an FYI -- your refrigerator might not work well if it's kept in the garage and if your garage temperature dips below freezing. The fridge's thermostat thinks it's cold enough and just shuts off. I discovered this two months ago when I opened up my garage fridge and found thawed food in the freezer portion and frozen food in the fridge portion.

Narr said...

We had a fridge. Some of my friends had separate freezers, but we didn't, and neither did any of my grandparents or cousins that I recall.

My wife's family did have a stand-alone freezer, but our house was a two-holer, so hah!

In fact, the squat freezer that her mother had is now in my room (Center for Global Domination) though it would make more sense to move it to the den, next to the kitchen.

Narr
Sam's, here I come

Hari said...

The average NYT reader outsources the majority of their refrigerator need to restaurants that prepare their meals and then deliver them to their door using 'essential' workers.

DavidUW said...

Comedy gold.

I live by myself and yet I have a second fridge. Yes it's for beer and meat.

Amadeus 48 said...

On a similar note, I am trying to imagine my mother with four boys born between 1946 and 1954 (and usually two cousins born in 1949 and 1953) dealing with car seats. I can't get there. We had a station wagon with bench seats and no seatbelts often carrying three adults and six children. My best friend was one of seven (six boys and a girl) born between 1948 and 1961.

There will never be another baby boom.

Joan said...

I love the comments here. Growing up in Dorchester, a lower middle class district of Boston, we had a giant freezer in the back hallway. I’m youngest of 7 and feeding 9 people is no joke. My dad shopped weekly at Haymarket in the restaurant supply stores, so even on the east coast there were people who buy beef by the side and chickens by the crate, and that necessitates a freezer.

When I was in college I visited NYC, a friend who grew up in a very nIce apartment on the Upper East Side. Their fridge was tiny and the freezer contained only ice because nothing else would fit. Someone in that household shopped for food every single day, but they ate out a lot, too, something we only did for very special occasions, a few times a year. Completely different way of life.

Ralph L said...

Grandma had an upright freezer on the back porch and a frig and 2 chest freezers in the former chicken house. She hoarded steaks and local veggies for our visits and home-grown pecans for Christmas presents.

Rory said...

We had a gas refrigerator in the basement. I still have no idea how it worked. I can only conclude that any technology, if sufficiently primitive, is indistinguishable from magic.

cfs said...

My household has 2 refrigerators and 2 chest freezers even though it is just my husband and I now. But, when my boys were growing up, their best friends practically lived here in the summers and holidays, so I had to feed 6 to 8 growing boys. One fridge held the lemonade and milk they consumed by the gallon.

Now, the extra fridge is used only slightly for drinks (but very handy during holidays) and the other for those items that rotate out pretty quickly. One freezer is for venison/meats and the other is for extra bread, ice cream, popsicles, chicken nuggets, and all the other things grandchildren think magically grows at grandma's house.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The difference between "city" and "rural" living. Also the mindset that allows rural people to not freak the eff out when there are small hitches in the get along. Power outage. Snow? No need to rush to the store...we have plenty of food and supplies to last for days...weeks...months even.

We have a large double door stainless fridge/freezer with ice in the door [vital)..combo in the house. As others have stated... for immediate use items. Then a large upright freezer in the shop building for bulk items that we have broken down into smaller vacuum sealed packages. Pounds of shelled walnuts from our trees. Frozen pies and fillings made when we have more fruit. Casseroles. [Making lasagna? Make two or more because it isn't that much more work and you won't have to do it later! Banana bread? Make 4)

The second refrigerator is along side the freezer and used for overflow of fruits and vegetables, which we often have in abundance in the spring and fall, until they are canned or turned into jam. Drinks, beer, ice teas. Bigger blocks of cheese for those lasagnas. LARGE roasts that I plan to cook and are slowly defrosting.

Shopping in BULK at Costco and Winco once a month or every other month... it is not unusual to buy 4 to 8 lbs of butter and freeze for later. 10 lbs of hamburger. Ditto chickens. Big bags of shrimp, fish fillets, steak...buy 4 and freeze.... etc.

Then there is the pump house that is stocked with canned goods, jams and other dried goods.

Prepping. Nope. Just normal rural living.

Lucid-Ideas said...

One of the best investments you can make is a chest freezer and a silent inverter generator that will take diesel or jp-8.

Ein Deutsch, "ein teiffen keller."

Even without power the insulation properties can make the product last weeks...specialists can make it last months (with huge effort).

Humans lived a long time using caves to store and dry stuff. Better yet, they discovered their intelligence didn't just feed their bodies, it fed their souls.

Cooking shows are heroin. Learn how to serve man.

Lurker21 said...

My fridge is a member of my family. We will be filing our taxes jointly, and if the courts allow us, marrying. Hoping for a spring wedding.

Scott said...

Everything West of the Hudson River is an exotic foreign land, apparently.

Lurker21 said...

I always wondered if people who had deep freezes in the basement were serial killers or something ...

Big Mike said...

No second oven (how often do you need both?).

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas. A couple times over the rest of the year.

RNB said...

I note that the literal first thing in the first sentence of the NYT article is an assurance that the freezer being discussed is not a racist-y white color.

FleetUSA said...

If you have a separate freezer or fridge, you really MUST have a standby generator. You don't want to lose everything if the power goes out for sometime.

Scott Patton said...

In immigrant dense area outside of Pittsburgh, the spare refrigerator / freezer was often kept in the basement kitchen or "Italian" kitchen (as we hunkies called it). In very much low-middle class houses it might be just a fridge-counter-sink-stove/oven along a wall in the basement. Others were a full kitchen with table and cabinets. In many cases the basement kitchen was comprised of the old original first floor kitchen recycled after remodeling and new appliances. Remember the free standing Westinghouse Electric Roaster with the big red temperature knob? Like others have mentioned, occasional use throughout the year. Canning, garden harvests, hunting, weddings (racks of cookies, roasters full of roast beef, lasagna, heeps of gnocchi - yum!) and essential for the holidays.

Doug said...

First world problems.

Is your refrigerator running?

Skeptical Voter said...

Back to my boyhood. Lived in a town of 25,000 in Washington State. We rented a pasture outside of town where we pastured three steers. They got to slaughter weight and wound up in the custom slaughter house/butcher/freezer plant facility on the edge of town. The freezer plant also held an elk that Dad had killed.

Moved to San Diego--but had a two acre place in the Eastern suburbs--raised and slaughtered 100 New Hampshire Red roasting chickens. Can't recall whether there was a freezer plant or simply a storage freezer in the family. Ate a lot of chicken and beef over the years.

Relatives lived in rural Arizona. They all had storage chest freezers--that were full of frozen food. But they had space for the things--and space that an apartment dwelling NYT "reporter" couldn't dream of. It's a different world--West of the Hudson.

Will Cate said...

When our kids were still young & living at home we had a large top-loading freezer in the garage. Came in very handy, until they left the nest, then we sold it.

Darrell said...

Where do you think deplorables keep their munitions?

Omaha1 said...

From the NYT article: "People of color also have second refrigerators in disproportionately high rates. Nearly 20 percent of Black Americans have them, as do 22 percent of Latinos and 23 percent of Asian-Americans. One-third of Native American respondents in the Energy Information Administration’s last major survey of residential energy consumption, completed five years ago, reported having more than one refrigerator."

Maybe this explains why the article didn't include a lecture about excessive energy use and "climate change". If "BIPOC" have extra refrigerators it's automatically a good thing, right?

I have a one full size refrigerator/freezer, one stand-alone upright freezer, and a mini fridge in the basement for my son. I have an extra mini fridge upstairs for guests but it is currently unplugged.

who-knew said...

I thought a beer fridge was mandated by law. Newly single, I am converting to big city standards and keep very little in the house, picking up what I need to cook supper when I decide what to cook. But the beer fridge is always full.

gilbar said...

Wow! HUGE Savings, by buying Bulk!!

Now; do an article on monthly electric costs of this extra fridge/freezer!

Earnest Prole said...

Among many working definitions of White Trash is a household where the number of vehicles exceeds the number of individuals. The same rule applies to refrigerators.

Gospace said...

tcrosse said...
Whatever happened to the local freezer plant or locker club? My grandfather kept chickens on the outskirts of Watertown, WI, and had a locker full of chickens in the freezer plant downtown. This was many years ago.


Well, for a start. most of us have never heard of such a thing. At 65, this is the first I've heard of it. I've only lived in 8 states, though. Maybe they're common in the other 42.....

Almost everyone I know owns a 2nd fridge, the 2nd for drinks as many have said. We have a 2nd fridge and a small chest freezer. Used to have a large chest freezer- it crapped out on us as the kids were all moving on. So we downsized the freezer.

stlcdr said...

If you need a second fridge, get a second fridge. If you don't, then don't.

stlcdr said...

who-knew said...
I thought a beer fridge was mandated by law. ...

2/28/21, 11:52 AM


Ah, one of those outdated laws that actually makes sense.

tcrosse said...

Well, for a start. most of us have never heard of such a thing. At 65, this is the first I've heard of it. I've only lived in 8 states, though. Maybe they're common in the other 42.....

The freezer plant was common before home freezers became a thing. There still are a few in rural areas, usually attached to a butcher/slaughter facility.

Joe Smith said...

"Almost everyone I know owns a 2nd fridge..."

Second fridge in the garage. Third fridge on the back porch...

Michael said...

Deer, pheasant, corn, apples all came from our land and wound up in the chest freezer

Caligula said...

If you live in a city apartment then you can’t very well put that extra refrigerator or freezer in your garage, can you? Although if you have a giant chest freezer somewhere then you really should have a notebook or map or something that shows what’s in it, where it is, and when you put it there.

And if you still have a 1982 refrigerator running somewhere you really should replace it, as these use so much more electricity than a new one that you’re better off disposing of it.

BTW, the house we now live in had a freezer in the garage when we looked at it, prior to buying it. And it was full of meat.

But the previous owners had fallen into financial distress and the utility had shut off the power. And, it was August.

wendybar said...

FleetUSA said...
If you have a separate freezer or fridge, you really MUST have a standby generator. You don't want to lose everything if the power goes out for sometime.

2/28/21, 11:30 AM

I lived through Superstorm Sandy which had a direct hit 5 miles from my home. We lost power for 2 weeks. With hurricanes...you can prep ahead of time. I packed my chest freezer in the basement with 4 20 lb bags of ice. Did not open it at all. Did not lose a thing!! The ice kept it cold...it was October in New Jersey...Not freezing out. But we did get some snow 1 day. If it went on longer, my neighbor offered us use of his generator! Haven't had a power outage since...

wendybar said...

The ice kept it FROZEN...not just cold. We were surprised~

RoseAnne said...

An extra fridge can also be used in non-emergency times for storing flour, sugar, etc. Anything that may be susceptible to pest infestation. I wouldn't buy one for that reason but if you have it anyway ....

Earnest Prole said...

Well, for a start. most of us have never heard of such a thing. At 65, this is the first I've heard of it. I've only lived in 8 states, though. Maybe they're common in the other 42.....

They’re still around if you look — in California, for example, Roseville Meat Company: “70+ years ago, refrigeration in the home was not common and butcher shops such as ours would offer lockers for rent. Today, we still utilize most of the same lockers from 70+ years ago!”

Big Mike said...

Hunters need freezers. Non-hunters probably think they slaughter birds and deer and elk by the score and leave the carcasses to rot. The possibility that they actually butcher the carcasses and eat the meat. In rural areas this is an important source of protein for poor families. I can’t imagine that writers for the Times would think of that.

Rory said...

"Nearly 20 percent of Black Americans have them, as do 22 percent of Latinos and 23 percent of Asian-Americans. One-third of Native American"

This would not surprise anyone who's ever been in a Costco.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

FleetUSA said...If you have a separate freezer or fridge, you really MUST have a standby generator. You don't want to lose everything if the power goes out for sometime.

True. But it also depends on what time of the year the power goes out. Winter and it is barely above freezing in the garage/shop during the day...the freezer and spare fridge can go without power for a few days. We have even been known to put some of our house fridge items in an ice chest and just set it outside on the deck.

Summer at 95+ degree days...not so much. Better have a generator for the fridge and freezer.

Wendybar gets it :-)

This is why we have TWO generators. One to run the house appliances and the freezers in the shop and another to run the well (agricultural) pump in the summer if we want to keep our plants alive.

The house generator is connected through some electronic interface that I don't understand (or need to right now because my husband handles that). We can isolate circuits if we are pulling too much power aka...run the household items and not the shop all at one time. They can take turns if need be.

Kate said...

When I was a teen my dad had a keg fridge in the carport for weekends working on cars.

Most of our second fridge now is taken up by the bubbly water delivery tank my husband rigged (with exterior tap). He's a genius!

No need to segregate us by color. We're Americans. Of course we all have another fridge.

Rory said...

"White Trash is a household where the number of vehicles exceeds the number of individuals"

No. It's the number of vehicles that aren't running.

Unknown said...

Always a good laugh when the NYT decides to do a modern anthropology story.

Kai Akker said...

Joan's comment about her UpperEastSide friend's need to shop every day reminded me of a summer I spent a few decades back boarding in a middle-class engineer's home in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city. There were generally eight to 12 family members in the house, plus the two front bedrooms were reserved for the boarders, two to a room. There was no refrigerator. The mother and a daughter, or two of the daughters, would go to the market every day and bring back food, some of which got cooked and then sat on the stove; some just sat under napkins or towels in the kitchen. We boarders could eat our midday dinner with the family and they seemed to enjoy it if we ate supper too, but that was much less formal. At the end of the summer, as we boarders packed to head back to the USA, they had saved enough from our rents to buy a refrigerator. Much rejoicing (although not quite 100%, IIRC).

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Got a chest freezer about half a year ago, to deal with the meat CSA I'd signed up for. Of course, the week before last, our power was out for a week (less 4 hours), so everything in the chest freezer, and most of the stuff in the fridge, had to be thrown out. Irksome, b/c there was some very good CSA stuff in there -- a 3 1/2 lb. leg of lamb, two T-bone steaks, some bratwurst, a whole heritage chicken . . .

Throwing that stuff away was harder even than dealing with the massive tree damage. (We've been through Round 1 at least: The oak tree that slammed through our bottom deck, totalled one of the roof gutters, and in general turned our backyard into a moss-covered limb jungle is mostly gone, though 12 feet or so of the lower trunk is still there. The other half of that tree is still standing, at maybe a 75-degree angle. And the other oak in the backyard, though in no danger of falling over, has 7 nominally-attached but broken branches hanging off it by bark alone, three of them 30 feet up or so. Not really a safe place to hang out just now.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Blogger gilbar said...Wow! HUGE Savings, by buying Bulk!!

Now; do an article on monthly electric costs of this extra fridge/freezer!


Weigh the cost of the freezer to the driving cost, gasoline, wear and tear on the truck and time of driving 75 miles [one way] to the "big" shopping areas every other month, when gasoline is nudging up over 4$ a gallon here... and going to be $6 soon. Costs and a full day away from home and potential business calls.

Also the convenience of NOT having to drive to the local high priced rural market... 35 miles away in the winter, in 3 feet of snow or on black ice.

The cost of running our freezer (according to Energy Star) is about $85 a year. Less than the cost of a Starbucks several times a week. A BARGAIN at twice the cost. The convenience...priceless.

The math might not work for others...but it works JUST fine for us.

iowan2 said...

The coastals believe only they know what is best for the masses.

Then something like this is taken as newsworthy.

Like the others, beer fridge and 2 large (10 cu.ft.?) Chest freezers. Freezer inventory was regular table chatter. Dad would be triggered by the meal, and wonder if pork roast was in the freezer, or enough t-bones to host a gathering "for highballs"
Lots of fun memories. Mom made headcheese. (boil the meat off a hogs head, add oatmeal and seasoning) Not having butchered a hog of late, she asked the local "locker" to provide one, when available. One came home with dad, when he had stopped to get bacon, and summer sausage, the owner smoked his own. Several weeks later, mom went to the freezer, grabbed the card board box, opened it on the kitchen counter, and an entire hogs head, eyes, hide, and ears, staring back at her. Not how our butcher provided a head.

A classmate of mine,trapped. He ran his lines before school. One day he was running out of time, and couldn't get everything skinned,and threw a muskrat in the deep freeze till after school. But, the housekeeper went to the freezer to get meat out for supper, and found a very angry muskrat snarling at her. She almost quit over the encounter, but a tidy bonus,and strict new rules, kept her in the house.
What do the city mice do to keep entertained?

I'm Full of Soup said...

Jeez the NYT is so clueless - the extra freezer is essential to store what's left of your wedding cake!

ALP said...

I have some multi-fridge horror stories courtesy of my SO. His mom grew up in post WW2 Japan, she engaged in some food hoarding. They would go on a trip only to come home and find one of them had broken - of course it was mid summer. Always mid summer. This happened at least 3 times in his childhood - 3x he and his dad had to deal with rotten food disposal then dispose of the fridge.

After his dad passed, then mom - we move into the house after days of cleaning that included, you guessed it, disposing of a broken fridge full of rotten food. This time he just strapped the door shut, loaded it onto a truck, then just kicked it into a landfill.

The man has a serious aversion to rotten food.

Anita said...

I follow a Catholic homesteading mom of 7 on Instagram because I'm fascinated with how she manages her home. She is just about to complete a pantry challenge in which she feeds her family food from her pantry for 2 months--no grocery store trips. Here's her tour of her freezer/fridge set up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIrbhwlUEdI

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My grandmother in Mexico had a summer home in Tequisquiapan. They also owned a very nice apartment in downtown Mexico City.

Because the house in Tequis was older (really older like 1820's) she only had a small refrigerator. So..for extra food when she had company, she used the well inside the kitchen. An actual round hole in the ground well, with a nice stone circular wall, waist high, around it and a wooden top to keep things and people from falling in.

We would go to the local open air market and get fresh food (live chickens, eggs, vegetables etc) The seller would kill and pluck the chickens while we got the rest of the food.

The well had a big basket that we would put the food into and then lower it down to just above the water. Put the wooden lid back on and the food would stay cool for several days.

Her extra fridge was a well several centuries old :-)

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

the large freezers with the the flat top that open by lifting up- those big white freezers. Had one growing up - and my grandmother in Wisconsin had one in her garage.That's where the meet, cheese and popsicles are stored!

I do not have an extra freezer, but when covid hit and panic set in at all the local grocery stores... I almost caved and purchased one. Glad I didn't. I just cleaned the side by side freezer out a few weeks back and threw away a lot of stuff that was old, hidden and forgotten and covered with freezer burn.

I did find a slice of year-old homemade lasagna. I let it thaw and gave it the taste test. It was still good. I use a 3-step wrap that helps to keep the freezer burn away.
1) wrap in wax paper
2) wrap in foil
3) place that little package in a freezer ziplock bag and push all the air out.
boom - one year old lasagna still good!
All the frozen fruit I bought at costco was ruined by freezer burn.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

meat.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

DBQ - great story. 1:16

MadisonMan said...

We had a small freezer in the basement. The Christmas decorations were in boxes behind the freezer and for a while I was the only one small enough to access them, so that was my job when we got a tree. In my house we have just one fridge with a freezer compartment on the bottom. I've thought about getting a freezer sometimes, but it just doesn't suit how we live. If we were still buying sides of beef, that would be different.

WK said...

If folks don’t know about having a second refrigerator or freezer - it would really mess up their minds to talk about the second sofa on the front porch, third in the garage, and fourth in the back yard. Gotta do something with the old ones when you buy a new one.

Balfegor said...

What’s next, a searing inquiry into the junk drawer?

Next up in breaking news from the New York Times: some people have actual cupboards rather than just storing all their plates in the oven! Also, some residences even have separate sewage and wastewater lines so feces never back up into the tub!! What they won't think of next in that peculiar, backwards world that exists outside of New York City . . .

WK said...

All the frozen fruit I bought at costco was ruined by freezer burn.

We buy a bit of bulk at Costco/Sams and have a smaller basement freezer. I usually repackage meats using a Foodsaver Vacuum sealer. Works really well to prevent freezer burn but is a bit of an effort.

Freeman Hunt said...

We fly-over types, well, somadays we jes sit round an sing odes to the stove too.

Lurker21 said...

"Almost everyone I know owns a 2nd fridge..."

Second fridge in the garage. Third fridge on the back porch...


Yes, "second fridge in the basement" is an ambiguous phrase.

I have a couple in the old place myself. My family never got rid of anything.

Michael K said...

This is why we have TWO generators. One to run the house appliances and the freezers in the shop and another to run the well (agricultural) pump in the summer if we want to keep our plants alive.

We care in Tucson and I am about to install a solar system. I wonder about the need for a generator for backup. When I was first looking at houses here, I was looking at places with 5 acres and intended to get a generator. We ended up buying more into the city (outside the city limits but close) and have not put in a generator. AZ has a better system for reverse metering than CA where I lived for 40 years. The state legislature there limited reverse metering to wholesale credit. AZ it is almost retail.

WK said...

My parents were reluctant to get rid of things that “still worked”. When visiting one holiday I was asked to get something out of the basement freezer. There was a 2 foot by 2 foot carpet sample on the floor in front of the freezer and black electrical tape on the handle. I grabbed the handle and was zapped pretty hard. Apparently the technique that was not explained to me was you need to stand on to carpet and grab the part of the handle covered by the electrical tape to avoid getting shocked. Still kept the food frozen however.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

NYT won't report on the crazy insanity and crime going on in Portland.
so junk drawers and freezer tales are it, man.

Insurrection only matters when the left can control the narrative.

New profile who dis? said...

We have a basic kitchen fridge, a chest freezer for meat, a beer fridge in the living room, a fridge for cold water in the garage, and a soda fridge in my office.

Balfegor said...

To be fair to the NYT, though, New Yorkers are easily the most insular people I have ever met. New York is full of people who grew up elsewhere and decided to move to New York, but the only adults I've met who had never left the city they were born in (not even on holiday) are New York natives. Even the residents of the tiny island in South Jeolla province in Korea where my grandfather grew up are better travelled.

And the New York Times is the paper for the natives. So learning about the customs of other Americans really is a broadening experience for them. We probably shouldn't be making fun of them for learning about other cultures (I say, feeling a little bad about just doing so).

rehajm said...

In the northeast kingdom of Vermont it was the newest fridge in the kitchen, a freezer in the garage for the venison and the old fridge next to it to keep all the beer warm.

Old fridge on the back porch if the garage was full of crap...

Jim at said...

Our second fridge (in the garage) came with the house when we bought it 23 years ago. It's outlasted two fridges we've purchased since.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

btw- kimchi is disgusting.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Our second refrigerator (a Kenmore) is the one we purchased in 1990. We remodeled the kitchen in 2013 and moved the then current refrigerator to the laundry room and purchased a Samsung refer. We sold that house to build a custom house outside of Snoqualmie and took that 1990 refrigerator to our rental home. It's still going strong and when the new house is complete, towards the end of this year, we'll take it to the new home.

We use the second one as secondary storage. New frozen food, produce and meat/dairy storage until they're needed for use in the primary refrigerator. The 1990 refer runs colder than our active-use refer, so produce stores longer.

Narr said...

One of my part-time jobs growing up was helping my Uncle Jimmy (the slumlord) clear out and fix up rental properties of his. All the little or big older apartmentalized houses he owned had bathrooms and running water and all, but they were low end and many of the tenants left on bad terms. (Landlords know that you want to drive by if you can, a few nights before the rent comes due, and see who is packing up, or has acquired a pickup truck . . . )

There was a lot of forgotten junk, and a fair amount of plumbing sabotage and other vandalism to be dealt with, and POS old 'frigerators full of rotting food were a staple, often in the summer.

Narr
Put me right off slumlordism, it did

tim in vermont said...

They find it quaint that flyover people don’t have double sized Sub-Zeros, I guess.

Flat Tire said...

Some good stories on this thread. I had a second chest freezer at the end of a rarely used back porch that contained inedible beef a neighbor had given us. When the kids were young they decided to add to the Christmas lights display and unplugged the freezer to do so. I figured it out in May because it was surrounded with flies. Had a friend with a backhoe dig a big hole in the pasture, tore out the fence and he picked up the sloshing, oozing mess and buried it.

tim in vermont said...

Built in, of course.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

A 1982 refrigerator could still be operational today (our 1990 refrigerator is), but a 2000 refrigerator would already be pushing up daisies. All that energy efficiency has taken out all of the ruggedness and resulted in refrigerators that run too near the limit of their capability. An 1982 refrigerator may cost more to run, but it won't have to be replaced after 10 years.

Richard Dolan said...

Always surprised by the comments about life in NYC by those who don’t live here. Relax, already. It’s quite livable. Saw an opossum sitting on a tree branch in Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday. So you rural folks would be more at home here than you imagine. And, yes, we have two fridges. When the cuts of meat you like, or the brand of ice cream or ravioli or whatever, goes on sale, you need a place to store it. Just life in the outer boroughs (Brooklyn in my case).

iowan2 said...

Farm shops ($150k+) will sometime have 2 fridges. You will go to get a cold one, and find a wide assortment of welding rod. Helps with the wild fluctuations in temp, and humidity, although maybe 10% of shops are climate controlled now.

Joe Smith said...

"Always surprised by the comments about life in NYC by those who don’t live here. Relax, already. It’s quite livable. Saw an opossum sitting on a tree branch in Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday."

NYC has some very nice parks, but they always look a little bit shabby.

Chicago, ironically for being a shithole city in many ways, has some absolutely gorgeous parks along the lake. The museums are world-class too.

Go figure.

Unknown said...

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

A 1982 refrigerator could still be operational today (our 1990 refrigerator is), but a 2000 refrigerator would already be pushing up daisies. All that energy efficiency has taken out all of the ruggedness and resulted in refrigerators that run too near the limit of their capability. An 1982 refrigerator may cost more to run, but it won't have to be replaced after 10 years.

This. My folks bought a new fridge in 1958 and eventually moved it to their basement, using it occasionally, but by the mid-80s it was never plugged in but too damned heavy to deal with. Three years ago we moved them to an independent living place and got their house ready to sell. I plugged that fridge in and within a half and hour it was cold. Paid a couple of Guatemalan gentlemen to boost it out of the basement and the electric company gave my folks $50 for turning it in.

As a landlord, fridge's usually last ten years nowadays, 15 tops.

Markoni said...

Omaha1 said...

From the NYT article: "People of color also have second refrigerators in disproportionately high rates. Nearly 20 percent of Black Americans have them, as do 22 percent of Latinos and 23 percent of Asian-Americans. One-third of Native American respondents in the Energy Information Administration’s last major survey of residential energy consumption, completed five years ago, reported having more than one refrigerator."

You nailed it. MSM Rule: Thou shalt not criticize anything done by a majority of BIPOC persons.

AndrewV said...

When I was growing up our neighbor had a second fridge that had a keg in it and a beer tap mounted in the door.

gilbar said...

am about to install a solar system. I wonder about the need for a generator for backup.

i remember hearing (during one of california's blackouts), that a solar system WOULD NOT WORK, if the power went out
Something about it needed the power to run the regulators, or something
Don't know; as i don't have solar... But something to look into

(presumably, a battery UPS would be enough?)

traditionalguy said...

Best place for pols to hide cash bribes from search warrants is in the garage freezer. But it has to be inside of a block of ice that is under the older deer meat.

Big Mike said...

i remember hearing (during one of california's blackouts), that a solar system WOULD NOT WORK, if the power went out.

That's because in California you're encouraged by subsidies to feed the power from your solar panels into the electrical grid. When they shut down the grid the power generated by your solar panels goes off into oblivion. I think you can set up the solar panels so the power feeds your own house only, but it's a lot more expensive.

I'm Not Sure said...

From the NYT article: "People of color also have second refrigerators in disproportionately high rates. Nearly 20 percent of Black Americans have them, as do 22 percent of Latinos and 23 percent of Asian-Americans. One-third of Native American respondents in the Energy Information Administration’s last major survey of residential energy consumption, completed five years ago, reported having more than one refrigerator."

Only 1/4 to 1/3 of people of color own more than one refrigerator? This country sure does suck.

stevew said...

Second fridge (with freezer): beer, non-perishables to be consumed in the next month or so, beer, non-red wines, stuff made in large batches that can be frozen (chili con carne, soups), ice cream, beer & white/pink wine, limoncello, and so on.

paminwi said...

We bought a home that had an avocado green refrigerator/freezer. It worked great and was huge. Of course we hated the color so we took it to a body shop to get it painted white. Was well worth for a total cost of $150 for transportation and painting.
At our cottage we have 3 refrigerators. Food, drinks and overflow.

Balfegor said...

Re: Richard Dolan:

Always surprised by the comments about life in NYC by those who don’t live here. Relax, already. It’s quite livable.

I lived there three years as a law student, and then visited regularly afterwards when my sister and other relatives lived there. It's a nice place to visit now that I have money, but I wouldn't describe it as "livable" compared to Tokyo or Seoul. At least in the tier of apartment I was able to rent (while largely supported by my parents) at the time.

I suppose you get used to it after a time, but stuff was always breaking down. The bit with feces coming out of the tub is something that happened to me in my first apartment. And I think to my sister, in a different building, years later. And then there's the rats, the garbage piled high on the streets rotting in the summer heat, the shoutiness of the natives, the smell on the subway . . . the restaurants, museums, opera, and symphony are world class, and there are some nice parks but as far as daily life went, my experience was that it's kind of a shithole, frankly. It made me appreciate my idyllic suburban childhood in California more.
Outside of Manhattan, I guess things are more suburban, and perhaps correspondingly more livable, but in the centre of the city it's ridiculously overpriced for the crappy quality of life you get.

My condo in Tokyo (in a tower mansion in Minato Ward) cost about the same per sqft as I would have paid for a prewar condo in Manhattan, but the annual costs (taxes, utilities, condo fees) are literally one third what I would have to pay in New York (I am directly comparing against a relative's expenses for a similarly sized, similarly situated condo in Manhattan). The non-daily life bits of New York can actually be quite fine, so at one time, I thought seriously about getting a pied-a-terre in New York to use on weekends -- a condo since co-ops don't like being used as pieds-a-terre, or didn't at the time; also, I thought that even in New York a condo would be unlikely to have poop backing up into the bathtub. But the annual expenses are so exhorbitant, it would be cheaper to just stay at a New York hotel at $1,000 a night when I want to go to the opera.

James K said...

My folks bought a new fridge in 1958 and eventually moved it to their basement, using it occasionally, but by the mid-80s it was never plugged in but too damned heavy to deal with. Three years ago we moved them to an independent living place and got their house ready to sell. I plugged that fridge in and within a half and hour it was cold.

Yep. My mother, who is 94 and lives alone, still has two refrigerators and two freezers, the second refrigerator more than 50 years old. It just got moved down to the basement when they got a new one sometime in the 70s. Pretty sure the other three are 30+ years old.

We have a SubZero that is now 18 years old. But a few years ago we had to replace some major part that cost more than a lot of new refrigerators cost.

Biff said...

Are there really no NYT commenters with their knickers in a bunch over the environmental footprint of multiple refrigerators?

DanTheMan said...

>>No second oven (how often do you need both?).

On holidays, our second oven is a Weber smoker. Or a deep fryer for turkey.
We have a deep freeze in the garage, but that is a total luxury.

My mother in law had two fridges... even though for 20 years it was just her and her husband, and for a decade later, just her. Which made no sense to me.

KellyM said...

Growing up, we had one refrigerator in the house and two freezers in the basement. One freezer was upright, in which we stored all the veggies/fruit prepped from our gardens during the summer. Enough to last from October to the following April. The chest freezer was filled with an entire beef we raised and had slaughtered plus at least eight turkeys we also raised each year. (Some got traded for other goods and services). By spring all we had left were cube steaks and the odd freezer burnt prime rib. My father kept an ancient Norge fridge in the garage for beer and bait.

Currently we have two refrigerator/freezers and a separate wine/drinks fridge. Hubby brews his own beer so the downstairs fridge is used primarily for cold lager fermentation. The drinks fridge is for all wine, beer, and mixers. We kept running out of space in the regular fridge and this is in the dining room next to the bar.

The only thing I'd change is to have a fridge where the freezer pulls out at the bottom. I would love not having to stoop to look into the fridge to find the sour cream or a jar of jam.

alanc709 said...

I have a compact refrigerator in my bedroom, used to store my insulin and Ozempic, mainly. Do have liters of sparkling water in there, also.

Mr. Forward said...

My second freezer is February.

Bart Hall said...

Two thing about fridges.

In 1951 my parents bought a General Electric fridge for their newly-purchased 1842 home. It replaced the existing monitor-top, much to the distress of the cat which came with the house. My widowed mother died in 2013, and as we were cleaning out the house we hired some guys to haul it away, but we made them wait around outside whilst a neighbor came over and strap-welded it thoroughly shut forever. Those fridges, especially when discarded, were notorious kid-killers because the doors LATCHED shut and could not be opened from the inside.

Second, I garden. where but a second or third fridge are you going to keep a bushel of fresh lettuce or three dozen ears of sweet corn in prime condition?

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

As a newly wed couple, when we moved to Burbank, CA, in 1988, we purchased a 3.5 cu. ft. fridge from Sears, for our modest, 800 sq. ft. apartment. It had a freezer the size of a large shoebox.

It trained us to not eat frozen foods, shop more frequently, use fresh ingredients and choose more carefully.

Since then, our apartments have included a larger refrigerators, perhaps in the 15 sq. ft. range. More than adequate for our needs.

However, were I to design my own kitchen, I would most likely pass on a large, standard fridge and instead install two of the minis under the counter. Or perhaps two slightly larger-than-minis in the 4.6 sq. ft. range. The large fridges dominate a kitchen and take up a lot of space. Two (maybe three?) under the counter fridges would increase counter space and afford flexibility.