By Kevin Williams
Refrigeration is one area that over the years the Amish have made a lot of allowances. While electricity is still generally frowned upon, in the interest of food safety and storage many Amish settlements now allow solar or gas-powered fridges. This simplifies the food storage process much more for Amish families. Twenty years or more ago most Amish families relied on cool cellars or ice houses to keep food chilled. Amish would cut blocks of ice from frozen ponds in the winter and use them to fill ice houses which would keep food cool or frozen most of the year. To be sure, this is still practiced in many of the most conservative communities (and even some more progressive ones, like Lindsay, Ontario, a more liberal one). Years ago if you didn't have a cellar some Amish would have to be extra creative and do things like storing food in a cool creek or slicing a big barrel in half, fashioning a lid, and burying the barrel half so that it was in the cool ground. This would at least keep milk from souring for a full day.
SIGH, I refrigerate a lot of stuff. Maybe stuff I am not even supposed to. I love cold food. I'll stick leftover cake or cookies in the fridge ("but that dries it out" is a common refrain from my wife)....I like my fruit cold: apples, oranges, bananas.
When I was a child and we traveled frequently one of my "worst memories" was of being in Italy (I'm sure this is custom in other countries too) and being served glasses of warm milk for breakfast. Ugh, no thanks. I even like to put jars of peanut butter in the fridge. Anyone else out there refrigerate stuff that maybe shouldn't be?