Sunday, February 6, 2011

Being a rural pastor's wife post #2

Today's post is practical. I promise I will get on to more serious topics about being a rural pastor's wife eventually. Today I'm going to talk about refrigerators and freezers.
Freezers-Buy a bigger chest freezer than you think you need. We didn't and I am constantly trying to arrange things in our small chest freezer to make everything fit. If we move we will leave this freezer here and buy a bigger one for our new place-unless we move to a big city.
Why do I need a big freezer?
1. Our members are generous with meat at Christmas time. Some is purchased at the grocery, some at the meat market, some they hunted or raised themselves. Depending at where your rural area is, this may be true for you too. (I realize this is not true for all rural pastors!)
2. We garden and freezing is a lot less work than canning. But if you don't have enough freezer space then you have to can in order to preserve what is in your garden. If you like to can or don't garden then this doesn't apply to you. I can a little but I freeze a lot.
3. When we go to the grocery store we really stock up because we only do major shopping once or twice a month.
4. If you see a good sale at the grocery you can stock up.
Refrigerators-We only have one refrigerator but I often wish that we had 2. We make do because much of the time that we really have a lot to put in the refrigerator (Thanksgiving/Christmas) we can put in our garage during the winter. But sometimes things freeze there instead of just get cold. If we have a warmer day we have to check the food out there often to make sure it is still cold enough to be safe to be used as a refrigerator. If we were really desperate for refrigerator room we could put something in the church refrigerator next door for a few days.
I know someone that has a milk refrigerator in the basement and a regular size refrigerator in the kitchen. We don't drink enough milk to do that, but we could often use another refrigerator. Especially after our major shopping days we really have to work to get everything in the fridge.
Along with this, when you live rural, it is a necessity to keep up with cleaning out the fridge. You have to keep track of leftovers and use them so you have room after shopping. You worked so hard to get to a store to get fresh produce that you need to use it before it goes bad. You probably won't get back to a store to get fresh produce soon. Out of all the chores I hate cleaning out the fridge the most. But living here has forced me to regularly do this chore. At a minimum I clean out the fridge the day before we do major shopping. I don't always truly clean the fridge (wipe down shelves etc.), but I at least put leftovers in smaller containers, throw out the old food, etc. When my mom visits she usually does a major clean out of the fridge and I'm thankful for that. You also need to keep track of fresh produce you bought and use it before it expires.
I visited a friend with one child that lived in a city and I couldn't believe when she opened up her refrigerator and there was hardly anything in it. I also visited a friend living in a city with two children that had more in her refrigerator than the first friend, but hardly anything in her freezer. After living here, I just couldn't imagine being like either one of those friends. Even when my refrigerator is cleaned out it has quite a bit more in it than the first friend. I can't run to the store every day for ingredients for supper.
Do you have anything to add about refrigerators/freezers?
Check back tomorrow for another practical tip to living as a rural pastor's wife.


Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your series. Although we serve in a mid-size smallish town, the large freezer is something that we got soon after we arrived at our first (and only) call. My parents were super good at giving our refrigerator a good cleaning, even to the point of my dad alphabetizing my condiments. I treasure those days since they are no longer able to travel. It was fun to read that your mother does this task for you too.

Dakotapam said...

We have a fridge only model refrigerator, one industrial sized chest freezer and one smaller (but still large) chest freezer. We live in the city, but we have eight family members, plus I often cook for large groups. We really need at least one more fridge.

Joelle said...

I'd be one of those you couldn't believe how little was in my fridge - or did you look when you visited here several years ago? Since then we got a used stand up freezer from our neighbor, but we don't put that much in it. I'm not good at planning things out food-wise. I waste a lot, I don't like that and keep trying to fix that about me. Maybe someday.

Raggedy Sue said...

I am a pastor's wife/frugal mom/gardener/meal planner. At our last church someone gave us an upright freezer that had been used when they received it.  When it died, I went to a local furniture/appliance store to replace it. An older gentleman showed me the available models from smallest to largest. He forgot to show me The Grand-daddy One. I asked him if it was still for sale. He replied "Yes, but no one ever wants one THAT big." I told him I did and that I would take it. (It's awesome - it has shelves, baskets, and even a little shelf where I can put a cookie sheet to freeze fruit or dough balls.) I instantly became bizarro woman to him. He actually tried to talk me out of it - "Do you realize how BIG it is? Do you have the space?" "Do you run a home business?" I finally broke down and said "I am a pastor's wife. People give us food. I make whole meals ahead for when people drop by to see my husband. I buy meat ahead when it's on clearance. My son will only eat my homemade raspberry freezer jam. I could probably fill TWO of those freezers!" I'll never forget his response - "It all makes sense now."