The other evening my wife mentioned that she’d never own another stainless-steel refrigerator. That was strange for her to say because Joleen picked it out for our Lake Havasu City home several years ago. I’ve never cared for the brushed stainless look. It reminds me of an extinct DeLorean automobile.
The no-longer-made Delorean’s have a stainless steel exterior much like our fridge. These peculiar looking vehicles never turned my crank. Car guys will know what I’m talking about here.
A DeLorean featured in the movie, “Back to the Future”, was converted into a time machine. I found this portion of the film cool, although I believe an early Dodge Charger would’ve worked much better because of its sleeker lines. Forgive me as I’m straying off the story line.
Grandpa and Grandma Hankins had a small white refrigerator in their 1920’s manufactured rental home in Vernon, Alabama. How do I remember it as being white? I don’t. That was pretty much the standard color back then.
Grandma’s refrigerator was rounded at the top with a chrome pull-lever on the door for opening. I’m not sure of the exact manufacturer as I last saw it 60-years ago. I’d guess it was a Westinghouse, because that’s the brand my parents preferred.
A 1936 ad I stumbled across in a Stockton, California newspaper, mentioned early Westinghouse refrigerators offering something that other refrigerators didn’t. The advertisement described this device in what I suppose was high-tech language for those days. It read:
“The only refrigerator with fast freezing Sanalloy Froster and Eject-o-Cube Ice Trays.”
These fancy Eject-o-Cube trays had a lever on top that you pulled upwards to remove the ice. Grandma’s had this feature for sure. I’m sure her damp fingers stuck to the metal handle quite often. I read this was quite common until plastic trays came along.
What I remember most about Grandma Hankins’ fridge was that it never had an abundance of food inside. My grandparents were not wealthy people. When we came to visit, dad and mom always made sure to stop beforehand and pick up groceries. That memory hangs with me more than anything. Regardless of such, our visits were always fun.
Grandma’s refrigerator had a tiny freezer section in the very top. Inside of it were the aluminum ice trays mentioned earlier. There wasn’t room for much else. Grandma would take one of the trays and remove the cube dividers. She’d mix up a glass of milk, sugar, and vanilla extract, and then pour it in.
After coming close to freezing, this mixture became an ice-milk-pudding of sorts. It never froze solid. I believe alcohol in the vanilla extract had something to do with it. Grandma referred to this delicacy as ice milk. It was her special treat for my brother Jim and me.
During our near 43-years of marriage, Joleen and I have owned tan, black, and mustard-yellow refrigerators. I believe the ugly yellow one was given to us by someone that didn’t appreciate the Heinz look. At that time we were young and struggling financially; so who’s to look a gift horse in the mouth. That last line basically means don’t complain about something if it’s given to you.
I asked Joleen the other night what color refrigerator did she want next?
“White.”, was her reply.
That’ll be okay with me. In one aspect it’ll be similar to Grandma’s. I recently saw where companies are now making retro Eject-o-Matic aluminum ice cube trays. We’ll definitely have to get a couple.
When the grandchildren stop by, I’ll mix up some of that ice milk concoction that Grandma Hankins made, although it won’t be quite the same with her not in the kitchen. It’s sad I can’t strap the kids into a time machine and fly them back to 1962. That would be like adding a cup of sprinkles to their pudding!