These are lumped together, though I considerthe former an essential and the latter an optional extra. Even in our relatively cool climate, you can keep food safe to eat and more attractive for a longer period with the aid of a refrigerator. It need not be large and requirements will, as with everything else, vary with the size and habits of the household.
Refrigerators are available to slide under work surfaces, to sit on top of work surfaces, to be free standing or to be completely built into a range of kitchen furniture within a housing frame. And decor frames are available with a number of models. Whatever your esoteric requirement, a diligent plod around the electricity showrooms is likely to reveal it. Gas refrigerators are also available, but the range is fairly limited and may not produce one to suit your needs. Many models have doors which can be hinged on either side and this could be an important factor in a tightly planned kitchen. Some have automatic defrosting with evaporation of the defrost water – a marvellous innovation for those like me who have chipped away with knives, pans of hot water and the floor inches deep in water over the years.
Most refrigerators have a deep-freeze compartment in kitchens with star markings to show the number of weeks it is safe to keep frozen food in it. For many families, a large compartment of this sort will serve their needs adequately, taking a loaf of bread and a few packets of ready-frozen vegetables and meat. There are, however, others for whom a freezer really is a considerable benefit. These will include keen cooks who like to collect a stock of prepared meals, gardeners who have a plenitude of produce to hoard away, the overworked who can only spare one afternoon every chuck all your waste down the sink – what about the compost heap?
As a keen gardener, l agree with them. But if you live in a flat without an easily accessible garden, or if you have no garden, or if you do not love your garden, or if you are frantically trying to throw together a large meal at high speed, well then a waste- disposal unit set into one sink (you really do need to have a disposal unit set into a separate sink) will save you endless wrapping-up of peelings, scraps and small bones for depositing in the dustbin. This leaves you with tins, bottles and other hard stuff. Even that can be dealt with by a compactor – a machine which compresses such matter (deodorizing it en passant) into packages about one-tenth to the original size. Expensive but covetable, compactors are housed in small cabinets designed to tit under the work surface.