Mein Kühlschrank: My German refrigerator

My apartment in Heidelberg came with a refrigerator, and it’s not great. Like all of my friends’ refrigerators here, it is tiny. By U.S. standards, it is the same size or smaller than what many college students have in their dorm rooms.

As a result of my refrigerator, there are a few changes I’ve had to make in my life:

  • I have to go shopping more frequently (at least 3 times per week).
  • Due to the strength of the freezer, I can only freeze 3 ice cream bars and a few ice cubes, nothing more.
  • I have gotten used to drinking water from the tap, since my Brita water pitcher will never fit in this fridge.
  • I can’t stock up on certain items that need to be kept refrigerated.
  • When I’m sick and want popsicles, I typically have to eat at least 6 immediately after they come home from the grocery store otherwise they will all melt.
  • Freezer defrosting is now a part of my life.
  • I have to be careful about the amount I cook.

The last one is the most difficult for me. I love to cook, and in my previous life in Boston, I froze soups, pasta, and sauces. Given my lifestyle here, I don’t have to freeze things for future use, but sometimes we just can’t eat everything in the fridge and it’s nice to have the option to delay eating it.

On a recent Sunday, I decided to treat myself to a day in the kitchen. I made a rustic Italian soup for lunch, a nectarine cake, and homemade mushroom-filled ravioli with pesto for dinner. Fitting everything back into the refrigerator was a little like playing Tetris. Eventually, everything fit, but dear German refrigerator, why do you have to be so small?

Refrigerator Tetris: after a day of cooking


8 responses to “Mein Kühlschrank: My German refrigerator

  1. Haha, I know what you mean. I have always wondered why German fridges were so small. I had the exact same problems. They become a chamber of horrors after a while that doesn’t allow you to find anything, and when you do and want to take it out, everything else topples over and falls out. It’s a mystery to me…

    • I’m close enough to a city grocery store that meets most of my regular needs, and there are fresh markets on the weekends. We used to get a farm share in Boston. But, here, we’d never be able to store that many vegetables!

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