The table should have a top with room for food materials and utensils to stand in neat order without crowding. Glass is the cleanest top, painted steel and hard maple coming next in order. Have some arrangement of shelves and drawers that small utensils and some food materials may be always at hand. Figure 6 shows a kitchen "cabinet" of painted steel with such conveniences. Notice the bin for flour, and the inverted jar for sugar, both with an opening at the bottom. Spices and flavorings and materials needed in small quantities are kept in jars on the shelves. The cupboard and drawers beneath will hold small utensils, towels, and whatever proves to be needed close by. Several makes of such cabinets are now on sale. A flat-topped table for a large kitchen, Fig. 5, could have drawers and cupboards below. If the outlay for a cabinet seems too great, the bins for sugar and flour may be purchased separately and fastened on the wall above the table, and one or two shelves screwed on the wall for the jars, with hooks fastened in underneath on which a few small utensils may be hung.
A small rolling table may be made inexpensively by putting castors on a light table costing not more than a dollar. Put table oilcloth over the top. This is a great convenience in many ways. The height of the table should be such that the worker is not fatigued by bending over. Thirty-two inches is a good table height for a woman of five feet four or five inches. Blocks hollowed to fit the table legs may be used with a table of ordinary height for a tall person.
If you purchase a cupboard see that the shelves are movable, and of varying widths. There are a few large utensils that need a deep shelf, about fifteen inches. If the shelves are to be built in, provide several widths from six to ten inches. Much space is sometimes wasted between shelves. Vary the distances here.
Smooth paint is the best surface for the shelf. Shelf covers of paper or oilcloth look clean when they are fresh, but are less sanitary than uncovered shelves. Drawers should not be too large, for these are heavy to pull and push when full. Cupboard shelves are on the whole more satisfactory than drawers, because this tiresome pulling out and pushing in are avoided. Towels can be piled on the shelves, and small utensils hung on right-angled screw hooks. Do not use curved hooks, except for hanging cups from the bottom of a shelf.
Fig. 6. - A kitchen cabinet.
A good refrigerator is built with double walls, and has several layers of non-conducting material. Figure 7 shows the careful way in which the refrigerator wall is made. 1. Porcelain enamel lining lock joint. 2. Inside wood lining. 3. Three-ply red rope water-proof paper. 4. Wool felt deafening paper.
5. Flaxlinum insulation.
6. Dead air space. 7. Flax-linum insulation. 8. Wool felt deafening paper. 9. Three-ply red rope water-proof paper. 10. Outside wood case. The ice chamber is arranged to be easily filled, and has a connecting pipe for carrying off the water. If this is connected with the sewerage system of the house, make sure that it is properly trapped (Fig. 8). See "Shelter and Clothing," page 51, for description of the S trap. The closets for the food should have an enamel or tiled lining. This is non-absorptive, and may be kept perfectly clean. A large refrigerator is more economical of ice than a small one, and in the end more than balances the few dollars extra that must be paid for the larger size. Select the coolest spot that you have for the refrigerator. Figure 9 shows the construction of a good refrigerator.
Fig. 7. - Section of a refrigerator wall.
Artificial ice is cleaner and therefore safer to use than the natural. Always wash off the block before putting it into the ice chamber. Wash out the ice chamber once a week, and pour a solution of washing soda down the waste pipe.
Fig. 8. - A refrigerator trap.
Fig. 9. - A well constructed refrigerator.
The food chambers should be washed out once a week and dried, and no spilled food allowed to remain a moment. Do not leave the doors open. Have a strong ice pick for breaking ice.
A window box fastened outside the window by strong iron brackets provides a convenient place for cooling food, and keeping some semi-perishable foods. It is easily made from a watertight wooden box, painted outside and in, the opening toward the window having a curtain of table oilcloth. A piece of wire netting set in one side of the box permits of a current of air.