One of the things that my wife and I agreed on when we were first married was the idea that any initial appliance and houseware purchases should be the highest quality we could reasonably afford. This is completely contrary to what most couples do, and to be fair, we really only applied this principle to our major purchases, specifically, the bed and the refrigerator.
Ten years later, I still feel that those were perhaps our very best purchases to date. You spend something like a third of your life in your bed so you might as well be comfy. As for the other two-thirds of my life… Well, I’m pretty sure that I spend at least another third or so in or around my fridge.
We opted for the side-by-side, in-door ice and water dispenser, which has been great, and went ahead and got the mammoth 25.2 cu. foot model by Whirlpool. It’s a bit hard to go any larger than that without venturing into the industrial realm (with equally industrial pricing). Besides, we still lived in an apartment (still do) and that monster had to fit in the paltry space most places provide in the kitchen. It’s always a little bit of a shock for us when we first move someplace new because the kitchen always looks gigantic until we wheel in our refrigerator. Then it instantly feels cramped. Some day I dream of having a kitchen that can hold my fridge and not have it stick out six inches beyond the edge of the counter. Sigh…
But back to reality.
Lately, I’ve done a lot of baking that required (or at least suggested) putting various stages of dough in the refrigerator or freezer to chill. In many recipes they actually want you to put a whole baking sheet in the freezer, sometimes overnight. My problem is that because my fridge (despite it’s size) is a side-by-side model (the doors are tall, with the freezer on one side and the fridge on the other) none of my baking sheets will fit in there, and my freezer is huge compared to some peoples, 9.8 cu. feet!
Maybe this is a reason to buy the top-bottom models which can take advantage of the whole width of the appliance inside the freezer. But then again, who has that kind of space in their freezer?! It took me the better part of an hour to clear and reorganize my own freezer enough to dedicate one of the five spaces for bakery chillin’, and I only lost about a foot and a half of my cubic freezer space. How in the world would your average Joe or Jane do this? Which led me to the realization that, they can’t.
Hmmm… But that means that most of my cookbooks (which are marketed for the average masses) are providing techniques that your average baker simply can’t do. But, but… That’s unacceptable!
What are amateur, part-time, hobby-cooks like myself supposed to do?
What do others do?
In the coming weeks I am going to put my brain to the task of a workable solution to the low-end baking fridge, but in the meantime, anyone out there with a working solution or even a wild idea, please feel free to comment.