Posts Tagged ‘fridge’

Change the World Wednesday – 25th Sept

Hailstones big enough to damage cars and destroy house roofs

Hailstones big enough to damage cars and destroy the roofs of houses

Well, here we are, cold weather, and Small’s autumn advice from last week almost seems relevant.

The south of Brazil has been hit with terrible weather, even a tornado, and we are experiencing the tail end of the cold front here in Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday, I cut down my hopeful tomato plant, the aphids were preventing the flowers from fruiting.

Sunday, I used my newly acquired spade (yes, I finally bought one) to turn over the compost heap.

For those of you who are vege/vegan minded I have just posted a recipe and story about aubergine/eggplants on Things that Fizz and Stuff.

Last week I promised a photo of my chilies.

You don't need a big garden, just an old tin by the kitchen door

You don’t need a big garden, just an old tin by the kitchen door

There’s a lot more now, that photo was taken last week.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with CTWW for this week.

This week head into the kitchen and give your refrigerator a little TLC (tender loving care):

Did it already. I must have had my crystal ball out.

I defrosted the fridge Sunday night Monday morning. Woke up to a flooded kitchen and a confused kitten; as I squeegeed the water out the door, Cloro couldn’t understand why his polystyrene cat food tray was floating across the kitchen; it was really one of those “wish I had the camera ready” moments.

But the fridge is clean and the door seal good, didn’t do the coils though, that will need to be done.

So, I’m on a winner.

See you all next week.

Change the World Wednesday – 4th Sep

I make a lot of banana smoothies

I make a lot of banana smoothies

Last week was Zero Food Waste countdown. So here’s what I wasted…

Wednesday: 2x banana skins and coffee grounds to compost.

Thursday: (Birthday BBQ): Salad vege scraps on the compost, Plate scraps, not much probably less than a kilo (2lbs)

Friday: Half a bowl of coleslaw left over from BBQ. 3x orange peels from juice and coffee grounds to compost.

Saturday: Potato peel, pineapple trimmings and outer cabbage leaves on compost.  Last scraps of meat (500gm – 1lb) from 2nd BBQ (using the leftover meat from Thurs)

Sunday: Vege trimmings from roast vege – potatoes, stuffed tomatoes and carrots on to compost with coffee grounds.

Monday: Nothing. Made Bread ‘n’ Butter pudding from BBQ leftover bread rolls

Tuesday: Coffee grounds, a slice of bread that I had left on the counter. Made omelette using leftover tomato stuffing and two extra eggs. Had leftover B ‘n’ B for dessert; and there is more for tonight.

Wednesday: (while writing this post): Nothing yet, although a quarter small cabbage will be destined for the compost later. Drinking leftover coffee from yesterday (I always do this)

My coffeepot is not this shiny...

My coffeepot is not this shiny…

About the coffee, I make fresh coffee sometimes daily, sometimes every second day. If there is coffee left over from the previous day, I reheat it in a bain-Marie (to avoid that burnt taste if the fire has direct contact with the bule (coffeepot). I never throw coffee out, that would be like chucking the baby out with the bathwater…

You can read about my B ‘n’ B pudding and omelette on Felis piddloraptordactylosaurus.

So that was my week, I didn’t chuck out much in the way of viable food. My weeks are usually pretty much like this.

The link above and previous posts will give you an update on Cloro’s antics. I discovered she’s a Ragdoll cat; I had no idea that this breed existed, details in the post A Lazy Sunday Afternoon.

My Dizzy Lizzy spells are all but gone. This is the third day feeling great, although I still have to move slowly with the turning and standing motions. Started back at work as normal last night.

Still gathering tomatoes, one or two a day, just right for my usage. Looks like I will get another week of tomatoes, then the next plant will be ready in about three weeks.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

Our challenge is twofold:

  1. Check out the fruit bowl and come up with an idea for using bananas (which is the 3rd most wasted food according to Mrs. Green’s “Zero Heroes”). 
  2. Clean out your fridge and check the temperature (to ensure proper food storage). When cleaning the refrigerator, move items around so that the oldest (and still usable) foods are front and center … and make plans to use those things up this week.

Fruit doesn’t stay in my bowl long enough, green bananas ripen quickly and usually look like this;

The more black bits, the better they are for you

The more black bits, the better they are for you

So the first bit is taken care of.

Number 2: I do need to defrost, so that will be this week. It is my practice to put older produce to the front. It’s part of food hygiene regulations, use old stock first.

So this week’s CTWW is all but done.

See you next week.

Change the World Wednesday – 12th Jun

I am pre-Coffee at the moment

I am pre-Coffee at the moment

Please note, I am pre-Coffee and it is not yet 5am.


Beefless week last week, another success. Not only that, but I accepted Small’s challenge and went vege for a day and had quiche as my main meal. The rest of the week was pork, chicken and fish.

As usual, I bussed and walked to my jobs, and I walked to the supermarket. Just thought that I would mention, for those of you who don’t know me that well, I am confined to a walking stick for anything further than the little park where I live. I figure that if my leg does give out and I do fall (haven’t yet) the locals know where I belong. So for me the 25 minute walk (Monday-Friday) to my second job is a task; the longer hour walk to the supermarket is definitely taxing. There are two reasons that I commit this foolishness, one is financial; the other is that I need the exercise to combat my sedentary lifestyle. Besides, I get to see more of the neighbourhood and what is going on.

Click on the banner for the full post

Time for this week’s CTWW.

This one is for me, I am a gazer.

This week be very mindful of opening the refrigerator and freezer. Resist browsing the contents and/or “grazing”. Close the door rather than hold it open while you pour a glass of juice or quickly use an item to be returned to the shelf. When you must open the doors, minimize the time and shut them as quickly as possible.

This is not my fridge... it has food in it

This is not my fridge… it has food in it

Actually, I do feel twinges of guilt when I open the fridge door and normally get what I want and close it again.

But, I am also a gazer (not grazer, I don’t have grass in my fridge). I gaze into the empty space and wonder where all the food went. I gaze into the empty space and promise I’ll go to the supermarket. As I never have more food than I need, the gazing is brief.

I realise that when you open the door there is that WHOOSH! of cold air escaping, here in Rio on a 40°C (96°F) it is most welcome. But I don’t close the door while I am pouring a juice or water, or adding a splash of milk to my coffee; and for good reason. If you close the door and open it AGAIN to put the juice, water or milk back, there is a second WHOOSH! I have reasoned that the second WHOOSH! displaces more cold air in the fridge than it would lose if the door was left open momentarily.

If I am cooking, I get all the required ingredients from the fridge in one opening, rather than get them each as I need them.

So I am mindful of my fridge opening habits, and I have given them some thought in the past. This is one of the advantages of being old, you have time to think.

So yes, I have and do meet this challenge on a daily basis.


Change the World Wednesday – 6th Feb

This week has been rough so far. Sunday night I received that most dreaded of all phone calls from my brother in New Zealand; our mother had died two hours earlier (Monday morning NZT). There is a brief post on my Life blog.

bright-green-tick-mdThe first big green tick on my list.

Finally, after many false starts, I managed to get my ‘new’ fridge.

The old is relegated to the garage where, should it be needed, it will serve as a beer fridge.

The new fridge is installed, and today received its first load from the supermarket.

The Fridge, the final in the saga.

The truck

Looks terrible, but the dirt is not a lack of cleanliness, rather the remains of adhesive. The previous owners had covered it.

The limousine

The limousine

There, isn’t that a beauty? Economic power usage, frost free, no more polar bears lurking in the kitchen at night.


From last week’s CTWW, I took my own advice and reinstalled Thunderbird to seriously get over the problem of ‘the cloud’.

While there are some who would call me a ‘conspiracy theorist’ I do seriously believe that cloud computing is a threat to us all and among the steps necessary for global control; while most just see it as a dandy innovation. So a new item on my list, and another green tick.


My List:

#1 :: A new fridge to reduce the electricity gobbling monster I have currently. –

#2 :: Change the element in the shower head. The current one only works on Low and Off, which is good for saving energy, but the with winter only a few months away, when the water is intolerably cold, I do like a Hot shower in the winter. I have the element, it’s in the little white plastic bag in the ‘tooly’ section of my junk drawer. It’s been there for a few months now… procrastination.

#3 :: Reinstall Thunderbird and take control of my correspondence again. – 

#4 :: I haven’t got a four yet.

Click on the banner to go to the full CTWW page

Okay, on with this week’s CTWW.

This week’s challenge is taking some overt action over a very important issue – FRACKING

While fracking appears to be a wonderful solution to our/the world’s fossil fuel problem, or so the corporations and governments would have us believe, it is one of the most dire threats to us and the environment that exist.

This week, sign NRDC’s letter to President Obama asking him to protect us from dangerous fracking. You’ll find it HERE. This letter is appropriate for everyone and can be signed by people worldwide. However, if fracking takes place in your country and you’d rather contact your officials, the following information may help:

Fracking by Country
Fracking in the UK
Fracking in Canada
Fracking in Denmark
Fracking in Ireland


Or …

If you’d rather not sign an online letter/petition, please contact your local officials about fracking and let them know how you feel. If fracking isn’t an issue in your area, consider contacting your officials regarding an issue which concerns you about the environment.

Petitions don’t work for me, because most of the ‘log-in’ pages for petitions will not accept Brazilian the address system and my entries are rejected.

But as my part of the challenge, I urge you to take part; and the links below are to posts that I have written/posted on the subject. If you are unsure about fracking, or undecided on the issue, then have a look to get an idea of the disasterous consequences of this process from hell.

Oh you don’t know about the infernal implications, then watch this video clip of the very devil in your kitchen.


Fracking Good News

We must act… NOW!

Monday Moaning

Make you Fink on Friday

Frackin’ Republicans

I haven’t written/mentioned fracking because it’s a fun thing to do. If I consider that it’s worth spending the time to open the debate, then you should too; because it’s your future, and the future of the generations to come, if the generations to come are to have a future.


Change the World Wednesday – 23rd Jan

Last week’s CTWW was about picking an area of the house and organise it.

I chose my junk drawer…




Medications, etc to the right; soaps and extras to the left, tooly bits and things in the middle.

I’m afraid I didn’t throw away much, in fact my discards amounted to a perished rubberband. But I did find the remains of a packet of parsley seeds that I will have another shot at propagating as a house plant/s.

On with this week’s challenge without further ado.


This week start an “Action” journal. List the Eco-tasks you’d like to accomplish this year. This can be done in an actual journal, a blog … or even on a piece of paper. Get the whole family involved since we’re often more inclined to follow through on a task if it was our idea in the first place. Put the list of actions somewhere accessible so that it can be referenced often. As actions are completed, mark them off (ah the sense of accomplishment).

And then she asks, “Are you game for this activity?”

Lixo cooling off on the slate floor of the shower, it’s the coolest place in the house on a 40 degree day.

I’m game for most things, but I hate making lists.

I’ll have to think about that. If I do it it will be on this blog with updates. Getting the whole family involved, I checked with Lixo, he’s on, not happily but he’s on board. He’s all the family I’ve got and has been warned that he will eat all his cat food before he gets more.

Let’s face it, Lixo is a cat, he views the world differently from us hummins.


5124He knows if the cat dish is full or empty.

#1 :: A new fridge to reduce the electricity gobbling monster I have currently. –

#2 :: Change the element in the shower head. The current one only works on Low and Off, which is good for saving energy, but the with winter only a few months away, when the water is intolerably cold, I do like a Hot shower in the winter. I have the element, it’s in the little white plastic bag in the ‘tooly’ section of my junk drawer. It’s been there for a few months now… procrastination.

#3 :: I haven’t got a three yet.

I live from day to day and don’t make many big plans. But here is the story on the fridge (reprinted from Life is a Labyrinth, my personal blog).

“Last night one of my students told me of his plans, to finish his project at work, get involved in Carnaval, take his holidays and get married to his long term girlfriend. But to do three of these things he needs a lot of money, he then informed me that English teachers are on the expendable list. Two more lessons until Carnaval and that’s it.

But the sun shines.

Having polar bears in the kitchen is not recommended

He wanted to know if I could use a fridge. Now the fridge I have works, but has to be defrosted manually every couple of weeks. If I don’t preform this ritual, I have polar bears roaming the kitchen at night. But it has kept my beer cold for the last year. The fridge I have been offered is like a limousine compared to the truck that graces my kitchen at present. And the price is unbeatable, the last two lessons free and R$100. It is almost new, It still has the warranty adhesive.”

I collect the fridge tomorrow night. So, challenge accepted and unlocked. You’ll note the little green tick (check for our American cousins) beside it on the list.

Now I need more coffee, it helps me do stupid things faster.

Change the World Wednesday – 21st Sep

The Idea Bus

Awake, dressed, have coffee, don’t have any idea what to write…

Wait… wait… it’ll come. *Looks around for the ‘idea bus.’*

My post last week was about my ‘nemesis,’ the fridge. It looks a little more distant after recent financial indications. Two weeks ago the real (Brazilian dollar) was at R$1.58 = $1, it has been steadily losing ground since; last night it had fallen to R$1,79 = $1. The real has become the currency most affected by the money market. Such a dramatic swing means that stuff like fridges, TVs, PCs & Laptops (another plan)  are very likely to become R$100-200 more expensive very quickly. Which will affect me personally, seriously.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday is about water. We have often spoken about water and I have posted on the subject several times; unfortunately all those posts are floating away somewhere in the blogosphere; where, nobody knows.

This week’s challenge:

This week pay close attention to the water which gets tossed down the drain and reduce it. (There is more, check the link to read the full text.)

Last week’s Make you Fink on Friday post was about water and is a good starting point as to why we need to constantly be reminded about water. If you haven’t already, hop across to check it out; I’ll wait for you to come back…

Oh, back already.

You see water is a problem because there are too many people on the planet using this valuable commodity faster than nature can replenish usable supplies.

Curry Flavoured Tomatoes

My answer to the challenge, is that I already do those things. In fact, I expect to have curry-flavoured tomatoes soon. I emptied the water that was soaking last night’s curry pot on to the garden. Talk about GMOs.

At work I do things like this. If the water in my cup has lost its chill, I empty it into the pot plants outside my classroom rather that tip it down the sink.

There are a myriad of small ways that we can conserve or reuse water.

The second part of this week’s challenge is a plea from Small Footprints:

In addition to reducing water waste, I’d like your help on future challenges. Please leave a comment with ideas for new activities. These can be something your passionate about … something that you struggle with … or perhaps something you’d like to use as a way to increase our awareness. If your idea is used (which is almost 100% certain), I’ll give you credit and link back to your blog.

And that is the part that I am really going to address today. Small Footprints does a wonderful job on the CTWW and as a blogger I understand that sometimes the ideas just don’t come easily all the time.

My suggestion is that we look at something we do at home, something that seems entirely inconsequential, something that we don’t even think makes a difference… but does.

Briquettes for the BBQ

I guarantee that most of you use some form of briquettes or alcohol to get the ‘barbie’ (Aust & NZ slang for BBQ) going.

I don’t.

I use cardboard from an old carton to light my BBQ. Simply tear off 4″x 4″ pieces roughly (jaggered edges are better) from an old box. I keep my old cardboard in the ‘fridge’ garden cupboard for exactly this reason.

A dozen pieces, then sprinkle some of the finer charcoal over them (not the dust, but smaller pieces) and once they catch add larger pieces. Soon you have a great glowing base for your ‘barbie.’

By doing this, I am a) recycling cardboard, b) not buying manufactured job-specific products, and c) saving money.

The world does not need briqettes!

Do you have a little trick like this? If so, post a comment on CTWW.

Change the World Wednesday – 14th Sep

I loved Blogger, but never again!

This week’s CTWW has caused a headache for Small Footprints. Her Blogger auto save failed and she lost the anticipated post. I feel for her; the number of times Blogger did that to me, posts, comments, etc that had been written lost and rewritten to never be the same. Most frustrating. I must admit that since I have changed recently to WordPress (2+ months) nothing of this nature has happened. I was really reluctant to make the change, and I didn’t do it willingly. I ranted ad nauseum about WP being unfriendly, and yet here I am now extolling its virtues. SF, I’m sorry that you lost your post, I know how hard you work at them and the effort involved.

On with the game…

This week’s Change the World Wednesday is for me.

It is a point that I have been agonising over for more than a year.

Check that your refrigerator is level … the door should automatically swing shut instead of staying open. Check the seal on the door … try closing it on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out easily, it’s time to replace the gaskets. Check the back of your refrigerator to be sure that it’s clean … vacuum coils if you have them to ensure that the compressor runs efficiently. How full is your refrigerator? Be sure that it isn’t too full … allow room for cool air to circulate which will keep everything at the right temperature.

Yes, the fridge!

Pretty much like my fridge

My first fridge after my enforced move was a donated run-down cranky thing that defrosted on Rio’s hot days. It is now the cupboards in my yard. I replaced it with one that I bought from a neighbour, it was cheap, made ice and kept the beer cold (it also had some food in it); at the time that was mostly what I was concerned about. It needs to be defrosted about every two weeks, it is not efficient, the seals are bad, the door swings closed on an intermittent basis often needing an exasperating  prod angry shove (with associated vocabulary) once I have reached the stove and realised it didn’t shut. I know that it uses more power than any other appliance in the house (and God knows, I have few).

It would be true to say that my fridge is my nemesis.

(I think we are about the have a power cut – there have been two serious dips in the light and the isolating transformer is performing like crazy…) I am not relying on auto-save I am saving the draft as I write each sentence.

I have a number of things that exceed a new fridge on my list of priorities. I still need a mattress; I have been using a thin camp mattress on my bed for three years. I yearn for the comfort of a real bed. But once these other items are resolved, a new fridge is definitely on the list.

If I time my purchase of a fridge with sales, I should be able to find one for R$799/899 (that’s about $500 on today’s exchange, but that is going down with the current economic climate, the Real R$ is getting stronger which means that prices for appliances will increase). We are now in spring and summer is the target for the new fridge, even if it means sacrificing the mattress.


So a perfect challenge for me, perhaps it is the jolt that I needed to change my priorities, because of course a new fridge would should lower my power usage and result in smaller power bills.

I would love my fridge to look like this this summer, but then we all have dreams…

I might even find some space for food.

(Lights are still flickering… but I have managed.)

%d bloggers like this: