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Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Meat Safe

I am hanging my nose over one of these:





What is it you say - an old fashioned meat safe -  (a more upmarket one than my nan had hers was wood this ones made of metalwhere) literally your meat used to be stored  in a meat safe like this but more normally a wooden version in a cold larder.  They didn't have deep freezes in those days.  Block ice used to be delivered once a week - no mod cons like we have today.  But meat safes served their purpose.  I remember my Aunty using one on a regular basis as did my grandmother.  The fine mesh on the front was to keep away flies.  In fact my Nan still had her red and white meat safe in the pantry when she passed. Remember in those days there was no central heating and what heating most houses was, was either provided by a large range cooker if you were lucky enough or a coal fire.

I quite fancy one to use as a store of a kind within a larger larder or pantry[ - note to oneself must acquire the larger pantry first]. Absolute necessity as it would not squeeze into my current pantry.   I have a small soft cheese Fromagerie, but as we love cheese and don't really like storing it in the fridge this would be ideal for the harder variety of cheeses.

On a browse around the Internet I found this article with a how to tutorial on how to build your own.  Might we worth keeping for future use.
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/diy/projects/article/-/8068747/how-to-make-a-meat-safe/

My Nan always kept the milk chilled in a big panchion with a brick or bricks in the bottom on which to stand the bottles and keep them immersed in cold water.  Made it last a lot longer. The other thing she used to do as the cream was always on the top of the milk was to tip the cream off into a separate pot in the fridge and then whip it up to serve with fruit and cream.  Saved forking out for a separate pot of cream.  We very rarely get milk like that today apart from on Jersey cream as the cream is mixed in with the rest of the milk. 

There are lots of things that were used in common practice in those days, which are now no longer used and have been replaced by a newer piece of machinery as in the case of the washing machine which replaced a hot water copper water soaking butt, or butts dolly peg, scrubbing board and mangle.  I think we are very lucky, but some things still have a part to play, especially in these cash strapped times.

One day!

2 comments:

  1. We purchased a wooden meat/cheese safe from a suprmarket in France about 20+ years ago for about £7. We have used it so much for all sorts of things where you need to protect, Taking things out of the fridge to bring up to room temp. Everyone that sees it wants one. Highly recomended if you can find one.

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  2. Thanks Johnny I will - its on my wish list and I always keep an eye out in the charity shops and on ebay. Sometimes the old ways are the best and cheese is a particular ingredient where its best served at room temperature as well as chorizo and salami etc.

    I have a large terracotta crock that my Nan used to keep carrots in the pantry (used to dig a load up and then store in a cloche or in silver sand in this crock. I carry on the same practice and its a boon when everything is frosted up.

    Take Care

    Pattypan

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