Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Le Garde-Manger

The kitchens in my apartment building all come equipped with a garde-manger, or cold closet, just like mine. This little bump-out cupboard was built into or added onto many Parisian apartments prior to the advent of refrigerators. Essentially it allows the cool air to circulate in the box through a set of slats. One can adjust the temperature of the garde-manger by a little louvered vent in the kitchen side of the cupboard doors, allowing apartment heat to escape and thus moderate chill of the food inside.

Super. Environmentally friendly, in theory. Unfortunately, what I need is its usable storage space, but not the knee-biting wind that whips into the kitchen in the morning through its doors, even when little louver is shut tight. Essentially it's like having a window open a crack 24/7. At the prices we pay for heat, this matinal mistral has gotta go!

Add one new vocabulary word for BHV shopping list: isolation thermique.

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