August 3, 2010

The Old Well

Posted in Children, Family, Food, Garden, Serbia tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:24 am by Liliana

The Old Well

The Old Well

In the corner of my grandparents’ garden stood an old well. It had been there for a long time, hundreds of years.

During the early part of my childhood, before there was plumbing installed in the village, all the water for cooking, bathing, drinking and animals was fetched from the bucket in that well.

The children knew not to go near it. The well was very deep and dark, and if anyone fell in, they would not survive.

Although there was electricity in my grandfather’s house, in the early 1960’s my grandparents didn’t own a refrigerator. No one in the village did. No one owned any kind of modern day appliance – no electric ranges, no washing machines and certainly no dishwashers. Those came gradually and later, in the late 60’s and 70’s. Before that, people used wooden stoves for cooking and heating, and all the washing was done by hand. The water was pulled from the well.

Because there was no refrigeration, the food had to be eaten quickly. Chickens were prepared by my grandmother the same day that my grandfather slaughtered them. Fruits and vegetables were picked and consumed the same day. We ate what was ripe and in season.

Sometimes, my mother made ice cream and we children helped. I still remember the steps.

My grandfather would bring a bucket of heavy cream, skimmed of the milk that his dairy cows provided that morning. He would place it in the cool of the veranda while we washed berries or pealed fresh peaches, or other fruit from the garden trees.

Our mother would cook the cream with the fruit, stirring and adding a bit of sugar if needed, until the concoction thickened. Then we poured it into porcelain cups, which she placed in the well bucket, and lowered into the coolness of the water so it would solidify.

But no matter how long we waited, and the time seemed awfully long, our ice cream was never the same as the ice cream we bought in the store. It was cold, but never frozen.

It was smooth, creamy, fruity and delicious. Different generations assembled in the cool shade of the veranda, eating ice cream with tea spoons out of those delicate porcelain cups.

“This is not frozen enough to be ice cream,” one of the children complained.

“Maybe not ice, but it is cream,” my grandfather answered. And no matter how many times he said it, we always laughed.


July 12, 2010

Troubleshooting Your Refrigerator

Posted in appliance parts, Home, tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:53 am by Liliana

Refrigerator trouble?

Refrigerator trouble?

During these hot July days, it is essential to have your refrigerator working well. But what if your unit suddenly stops running?

If your appliance is showing signs of trouble, here is a bit of advice from

The refrigerator has stopped running completely
The first thing to do is make sure that your refrigerator really isn’t running. Check to see if the light comes back on or if there is any fan, motor, or other sound coming from the appliance. Also, try adjusting the thermostat to a colder setting. If there is no sign of life, you will need to figure out what the problem is.

The second thing to do is check  if there is power getting to the refrigerator. To do that, plug a lamp or another electrical device into the same outlet the refrigerator is plugged into. If there is no power, check the fuses or circuit breakers in your basement. If the fuses or breakers are not the problem, contact a qualified electrician to restore power to the particular outlet for your refrigerator.

If there is power to the appliance but it is still not working, there may be a problem in one or more of these:

  • Wiring
  • Thermostat
  • Defrost timer
  • Compressor
  • Overload and/or relay

For all appliance parts, refrigerator help and troubleshooting information please visit

Warning! To avoid personal injury or even death, always disconnect your appliance from its power source – unplug it or break the connection at the circuit breaker or fuse box – before you do any troubleshooting or repair work on your appliance. Also, because some components may have sharp edges, use caution while working on your appliance.

July 6, 2010 – Refrigerator Advice

Posted in appliance parts, tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:45 am by Liliana

Take care of your refrigerator!

Take care of your refrigerator!

It is very, very hot outside this week and your refrigerator is working hard.

Still, it should not be running constantly, even at high room temperatures. If your refrigerator seems to run non-stop, you should check it out for a number of possible problems.

These are the things that could be wrong:

  • Your unit might have a dirty condenser coil. See our Maintenance Tips section for help in cleaning it.
  • The clearance around the appliance might not be adequate for proper air flow
  • The seal on one of the doors might be loose or worn out
  • It might have a light bulb that is not going off when the door is closed
  • Your unit might have excessive frost build-up on the internal evaporator coils
  • It might have a defective thermostat
  • Your refrigerator might be low on refrigerant

Visit for expert advice, refrigerator parts and maintenance tips.

Best of luck for a trouble free summer!

April 5, 2010

Maintenance Advice for your Refrigerator and Ice Maker – from

Posted in appliance parts, Cleaning, Home, tagged , , , , , , , at 7:01 am by Liliana

Maintain your Refrigerator and Freezer

Maintain your Refrigerator and Freezer

Warm weather is here already  – it was 85 degrees in Michigan last week! Early spring is the perfect time to do some light maintenance on your refrigerator and ice maker. Take care of any problems now and you will be ready for the hot summer months. Then you can relax and enjoy summer barbecues and cool drinks.

Manual Defrost Refrigerator
• Although these types of refrigerators and freezers are increasingly rare, there are still a few around. If you own this kind of appliance, check for frost build up in your freezer. If frost has accumulated on the walls to a thickness of a half inch or more, it is time to clean up. Remove all food from your unit, turn your appliance off and unplug from the wall. Allow all the frost to melt and then wash the entire unit with warm soapy water. When you are done, reset the thermostat and resume normal usage.
Note: It is easy to puncture the evaporator and ruin the refrigerator, so, please, do not use any utensils or tools to scrape off the frost. Give it time to melt on its own.

Automatic Defrost Refrigerator
• On self-defrosting refrigerators and freezers, it is a good idea to clean the drain pan underneath the refrigerator that collects water. (Some are not accessible. Don’t worry if you can’t find yours.)
• Clean the refrigerator cooling fan and the condenser coils. The coils are located underneath your refrigerator. They are usually black and look like a series of small tubes with “fins” connecting the tubes. Order a Refrigerator Condenser Brush to make the job easier.
• Check the door seals to make sure they are sealing properly against the frame of your refrigerator or freezer. If the seals are damaged, or don’t seal properly, your unit will not cool properly. This problem will grow worse as the weather gets hotter and more humid. Clean the gaskets and frame with warm soapy water so they don’t stick to the frame.
• Inspect the back wall of your freezer for any frost build up. You should not have any frost on the back wall or floor of a self-defrosting appliance. The presence of frost is normally an indication that there is a problem. See troubleshooting guide for help with defrosting questions.

Ice Maker
• If you have a built-in ice or water filter, it is recommended that you replace the filter every six months.
• If you don’t have a water filter, and you find your ice has a bad taste or smells funny, use a “taste and odor” water filter on the incoming water supply line. Try the Universal Replacement Water Filter.
• If you don’t have an ice maker, consider installing one. Many people don’t realize that almost all refrigerators are set up to easily accept an add-on ice maker. Many refrigerators have a tag inside the freezer at the back that gives a kit number indicating exactly what kind of ice maker will fit in that refrigerator. carries kits that fit virtually every refrigerator and freezer on the market. Come and see the wide selection in the ice maker accessories section.

For maintenance advice on any appliance in your home, visit us at