Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My, How Things Have Changed!
I remember when I was five and looked forward to being allowed to mix the margarine. In those days, you see, there was butter and there was some white, lardish-looking stuff called oleo-margarine, known as "oleo" to most cooks and still used by some today. The oleo came in a clear plastic bag with a quarter-sized button of red coloring that you mixed in to make it yellow and thus more palatable. I loved to squish the bag and watch the the red dye (mostly paprika, I think) do its magic. My hands weren't very big, so Mom probably had to finish it off, but at least I helped. Very important when you're five.
Our house did not have a refrigerator, it had an ice box. The ice box didn't have french doors and a bottom freezer and it wasn't covered in stainless steel. It had a small top compartment for the block of ice that we purchased at the nearby ice plant, a larger compartment for food, and a metal tray underneath to collect the water that accumulated when the ice melted. That didn't take very long. Many's a time we'd come home to find a puddle of water in the kitchen where the ice pan had run over.
The ice box was wood on the outside, as I recall, and the freezer compartment was tiny. There was no such thing as an ice-maker or auto-defrost. There may have been room for a small ice cube tray and a quart of ice cream, but that was about it. There was no room for frozen dinners, because there were no frozen dinners at the time. I don't know how we managed!
You can imagine how thrilled we were when we finally got a refrigerator. No more ice pan, no more puddles. We still didn't have auto-defrost or and ice-maker, but neither did anyone else. We had arrived!