Sunday, July 16, 2017

MARSHALLTON: Keeping cool

A Marshallton friend reports that her refrigerator broke and she had to wait two weeks to get it fixed -- apparently it needed a special, and expensive, part. Living without a fridge was especially challenging given that she had guests staying with her.
I was reminded of the hot-weather advice given in "Domestic Cookery," written in 1845 by Avondale resident Elizabeth Ellicott Lea: "Where persons live a distance from market, and have no fresh meat but what they kill, it is important to know how to keep it fresh... In the summer, if you have an ice-house, you can keep it without trouble. If rubbed with salt and pinned in a cloth, it will keep in the cellar two days; or by lowering it down your well, attached to a rope, and changing the cloth every other day, it will keep good a week in hot weather."
My friend used a cooler.
Another of Mrs. Lea's household tips: to keep water cool, store it in "a large stone vessel" wrapped in a wet cloth. "This will keep it cool for some hours, which is a comfort in warm weather."

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