When I was young, I lived with my parents, my maternal Grandparents, two aunts, and two cousins. Yes, we live in a big rented house. It had a big garden, and in the back yard you could park at least five cars, the only thing is you had to move the out to get the first car in as there was no turning place.
In the house we had a scullery (not a word you ever hear in used today, but we had one) and a kitchen and two lounges. I think the front lounge was only ever used to meet in when there was a funeral.
We also had two pantries, one pantry where my grandmother stored all the things, she bottled and pickled. Rows and rows of jars. The smaller of the two pantries were where all the usual everyday stuff was stored, the bread, the cheese, the milk etc., but note there was no fridge. In those days you went shopping almost every day for fresh produce, though my grandparents did a large shop each week, it was a big household to feed.
But that fridge, or rather the no fridge.
My grandmother stored milk and cheese in the small pantry under a sort of wire covering, like those things you put over the cakes on the table to keep away files and small hands from steeling the cakes. This interested me as I got to make it work from time to time,
yes it kept things cold and fresh, but it wasn’t a fridge. Instead under the wire cover was a large round flat stone, it was a funny kind of stone as it had sort of holes in it, and what my grandmother allowed me to do as a child was to top the stone up with water.
I don’t know how this all worked but somehow the butter, the cheese, the milk
where all kept cool and fresh when placed on this stone, and the water that I got to pour on disappeared into the stone, I guess that some kind of evaporation was taken place, and acting like some kind of early fridge was keeping the fresh food cold. I note also that the pantry/larder was itself a very cool even cold place, built of stone and not very well lit, one always felt a little colder when you were sent to fetch this or that for the table from there.
Of course in those days there was no such thing as central heating, so you were glad to be back in the Kitchen, where we ate, and as near to the coal fire as you could get as a little one, but usually a little further away because of big adults sitting much closer such as those aunts, grandparents, parents and even big cousins.
It would be an interesting thing today, just for fun to have one of those big round fridge stones, that I could pour water on and watch it keep my butter and cheese cool, if you know where there is one let me know.