“What I remember most about Grandma Hankins’ fridge was that it never had an abundance of food inside.”

The other evening, my wife mentioned that she’d never own another
stainless-steel refrigerator. That was strange to hear, because Joleen picked it out for our Lake Havasu City home eighteen years ago. I’ve never cared for the brushed stainless look. It reminds me of a 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, with car guys knowing what I’m referring to here.

A DeLorean featured in the movie, “Back to the Future”, was converted into a time machine. I found this part of the film interesting, although I believe a 1968 Dodge Charger would’ve worked much better because of its sleeker lines.

Grandpa and Grandma Hankins had a small white refrigerator in their 1920’s rental home in Vernon, Alabama. How do I remember it as being white? I don’t. That was the standard color back then.

Grandma’s refrigerator was short and round at the top with a large chrome pull-lever on the door for opening. I’m not sure of the exact manufacturer as I  last saw it sixty years ago. I’d guess it was a General Electric, because that’s the brand my parents always chose.

In a 1936 advertisement, it was mentioned that early Westinghouse refrigerators offered something that other refrigerators didn’t. It was described as, “The only refrigerator with fast freezing Sanalloy Froster and Eject-o-Cube Ice Trays.”

Those 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 with her damp fingers sticking to the metal handle quite often. I heard 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 recollection hangs with me more than anything. Regardless of such, our visits were always fun.

Her refrigerator had a tiny freezer section holding these aluminum ice trays. There wasn’t room for large items like a chuck roast or frozen pizza. Grandma would take one of the ice trays and remove all cube  dividers. She’d then mix up a glass of milk, sugar, and vanilla extract, and pour it in.

After coming close to freezing, this mixture became an ice milk pudding of sorts, with it never freezing solid. I believe alcohol in the vanilla extract had something to do with that. Grandma referred to this delicacy as ice milk. It was her special treat for my brother and me.

I asked my wife the other night what color refrigerator did she want next?

White.”, was her reply.

That’s fine with me. In that one aspect alone it’ll be similar to Grandma’s. I recently saw where companies are now making retro, Eject-o-Matic aluminum ice cube trays. I’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 as hers. I’ll have to make sure they don’t stick their tongues onto the tray as I once did. That part I try not to remember!

Ejecto-O- Matic

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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