Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Chill is in the Air


So I figured the best way to handle the kitchen reno reveals, is to just remind you of the previous posts and then update you on how the choices are working out so far!

So today, we can revisit refrigeration!  Remember the fridge post?  Well all three of the Marvel fridges are installed and loaded and ready for a full report.  And the report?  Is awesome!

First, the big boy...

We decided to inset the fridge between the food pantry and the kitchen library, so that it would not stick out into the room, much as you might do if you were installing it within your cabinetry.  We trimmed out the space with woodwork that matches the original woodwork from the house, so that it would integrate well.  And we chose the glass door on the fridge so that it would break up the look, and not create a wall of stainless steel.

Here is the fridge side, opened.  And yes, that awesome blue light is standard, and I just love it!  Ditto the stainless steel interior, which is both easy to clean and looks terrific.  You'll notice that there are four deep drawers at the bottom, we have designated one of these for vegetables, one for deli meats and other easy lunch items, one for raw meats, and one for fruit.  The rest of the space is just open shelving, so I invested heavily in plastic trays and bins and organizers so that we could corral the rest of our stuff.  We bought this fridge because it is very deep, so it holds a great deal, and is amazing for large entertaining platters and such, but it does require some forethought on the organization side, especially when you have a small condiment hoarding problem as we do.  I have a tray for Asian ingredients, one for other condiments, one for salad dressings, one for pickles, one for jams and jellies.  We've got the whole top shelf for beverages, the second one down for dairy, and we keep the bottom shelf fairly open for leftovers or other prepped items.  I have to say, it has been a really amazing shift from our old small fridge to this one...everything has a place, and I don't have to completely pull everything out of a shelf to add or remove an item.  Glorious!

If you thought the fridge was changing our life?  Then the freezer is the Amen corner.  Remember our other freezer?

Hello, gorgeous....

can you hear angels singing?
Because this door isn't glass, it gets these five great door bins.  Four mesh drawers, and four perforated adjustable shelves make sure that air flow is keeping everything at the right temperature.  More plastic bins and trays help again with organization, but I finally have room for all my baking supplies that can spoil or go rancid if left at room temp, frozen meats and vegetables, plenty of room for ice and everything easily accessible.  I fairly well mist up everytime I open the door.  Nothing hard and frozen has fallen on my toes since it arrived!

This model comes with an ice maker, but we removed it.  We don't use ice in our everyday drinks, just for cocktails, and for those we like inch square clear ice cubes that we buy in bags.  And we all know what happens if you don't use up your ice on a regular basis, it picks up off flavors and leaves little floaters in your drinks.  It would have been difficult and expensive to get plumbing to this area of the room, and we decided that we would rather have the extra room in the freezer and continue to purchase our ice as we need it, but most of you would probably choose to keep it in and use it.  Luckily, there is plenty of room for ice bags!

You might remember that we also were installing an undercounter wine fridge.  This means that Charming Suitor can keep it stocked with the stuff that is perfect for everyday drinking, and the bottles that I can feel free to open when my girlfriends come over without worrying that I'm accidentally opening something really expensive!

I love the sleek look of this thing!  The glass door again serves to break up the look of solid cabinetry, and echoes the look of the big fridge.

The drawers are super sturdy and edged in real wood, each one holds 9 bottles, so there are 54 bottles stored in here!  It is dual zone, so you can keep your whites and bubbles slightly cooler than your reds. We are keeping the top drawer for vermouth and Lillet and port, and anything we need for cocktails so that they no longer take up room in the big fridge.

Now for the real kicker.  The cheese fridge!  I know, I know, the very idea of a cheese fridge is beyond luxurious.  But we love our cheeses!  Can't be helped.  And perfect cheese storage is both warmer and more humid than your regular fridge.  For most people, we recommend you simply buy cheeses as you need them, and eat them within a week or so.  I also highly recommend you remove them from the fridge about 2 hours before you want to serve them, for optimal texture and flavor.  For us, with the amount of entertaining we do, and the fact that we nearly always do a cheese course with our dinners, we thought it would be a really fun indulgence to have a special storage set up just for that purpose in the kitchen library, so we got the small 15" wine fridge.

Now, a wine fridge is the optimal temperature for long term cheese storage, but not the right humidity.  To fix that required a little MacGuyvering.

First, I bought a little travel humidifier.

This takes regular bottles of water, and is a fairly small scale.  The AC power cord is thin enough that you can snake it through the door of the wine fridge without affecting it's ability to close properly.  I refill the bottle about once a week to keep things the proper level of humidity.  We also had to alter the bottom three drawers by removing essentially one sixth of the back of those drawers so that they would slide around the humidifier, which is very small, but a bit tall.  Our contractors did this with a small hacksaw, and we lost very little capacity, without losing any functionality of the drawers themselves.  We then lined the drawers in black plastic mesh, the kind they use in bars to protect glasses, easy to cut to fit and make sure none of our precious little packages fall thru the openings.

Cheese and sausage are great friends, and they like the same sort of storage!

Hello yummies!

All three of our fridge choices are absolutely working the way we wanted them to, and making life so much more delicious.  I continue to recommend Marvel products wholeheartedly, and hope you will check them out when you are doing your own kitchens, they are not the most famous name, but I really believe they are the best!

Stay tuned, much more to come :)

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath

No comments:

Post a Comment