Friday, April 29, 2005

Frozen Assets....

Sometimes it takes months - even years - for an idea to come to fruition in our household. But not always!

On Tuesday someone suggested freezing lemon juice from our surplus lemons. And then I realised that our mespila (loquats) were ripening fast and I never have room to freeze any of those, although I'd like to. I wondered vaguely whether we could fit a chest freezer in the house somewhere.

On Wednesday I pondered the passageway outside the kitchen where our little upright four-drawer freezer sits, but Richard pointed out that if we had a chest freezer that was significantly bigger, there wouldn't be room for us to get past - certainly not carrying anything. He did suggest we could put a chest freezer in the dining room but the rest of us vetoed that.

Then I wondered about replacing the four-door freezer with a much taller one, so it would take up the same floor space but have twice as much room inside. But it seemed a pity - the little freezer is just fine and should last for years. Instead I started thinking about our fridge-freezer, which has never really been big enough, and which was having problems with the door - it didn't seal very well, sometimes the freezer door didn't shut properly, and the paint is wearing off. It was a very cheap one when we bought it, and it's done us well, but maybe it was time to think of replacing it, before it actually died and left us with large quantities of defrosting food... we do have some money from a legacy so it wasn't an impossible idea.

On Thursday morning, Richard suggested looking at a couple of shops to see the prices and what's available. We went first to Giorgos Theodorou, the shop where we've bought most of our appliances over the years. The owner knows Richard, and they're excellent at repairing things that go wrong - rapid, efficient, and minimal cost. He showed us various options. The chest freezers available weren't all that big, and apparently they get a lot of frost. So we rejected that idea. We also decided definitely against the big upright freezers. But we were bewildered by the array of fridge-freezers, whose freezer capacity is apparently measured in cubic feet, with most of them having about seven or seven-and-a-half cubic feet. We did look briefly at an American style side-by-side fridge-freezer (with freezer size 9 cubic feet) but it was too big for our kitchen, and nearly twice the price of most of the fridges!

Then we went to Dalco, a newer shop which sends out catalogues of kitchen equipment and appliances. We quickly realised that similar-sized fridges were around the same prices as the other store, although it was hard to compare exactly, since their freezer capacities were measured in litres - most of the bigger ones about 160.

Over lunch we discussed it, and decided we really could do with a significantly bigger fridge-freezer. We measured the freezer part of ours and realised that it was about 50 litres. So the Dalco ones were around three times the size. A rough calculation showed that 7 cubic feet wasn't so different - a little less, perhaps, but still a great deal more than we currently have. Overall we preferred buying from Giorgos, since we know his shop to be so reliable and helpful, and in Cyprus relationships are very important.

Richard had a meeting that afternoon, and we assumed that everywhere would be closed for a long weekend as it's Easter here. I thought maybe we'd get around to it some time next week....

However he returned around 4pm, and said we might as well go and order the fridge! So off we rushed to Giorgos, pondered some more, found out his freezer capacities in litres to compare, and made our decision! Then - to my amazement - he said they would deliver at 9am the following morning. Apparently they were not taking Good Friday off at all, although they would be closed Easter Saturday and Monday.

So on Thursday night Richard and Dan moved the old fridge to the other side of the kitchen, and I cleaned the floor underneath (yuck!!) in preparation for the new fridge freezer, which did indeed come almost on the dot of nine o'clock. It was rather a tight fit through the kitchen door, but thankfully it did get through in the end.

During the day I've transferred stuff to the new fridge freezer, once it got cold enough, and we discovered that our Metro supermarket was open after all, so we did our shopping and bought some extra freezer containers. I even managed to defrost the small upright freezer (by dint of transferring its entire contents to the new freezer space - which still left room!) so there's now more space in that too. By the evening I had emptied and cleaned out the old fridge-freezer, so Richard and Dan moved it out to the garage where it can stay until we find someone who wants a fridge short-term.

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