Simple Wonder: The Ice Tray

The ice tray of my childhood

My last house was a parsonage, so it came with appliances we didn’t choose.  The refrigerator/freezer was a massive side-by-side model in stainless steel with a door dispenser that could be instantly tapped for cold water and ice in your choice of crushed or cubes.  Getting a glass of ice water took mere seconds from first thought to first swallow.

No matter.  I don’t drink ice water.  But I do drink iced tea.  Especially in the summer.  Lots and lots of iced tea.  Brewed, please.  No powder.  And never, ever will I submit again to Zimmerman’s (so called) iced tea, no matter how many people try to convince me of its superiority.  It’s made from (ugh!) powdered tea.  Read the label.

In my current house, the much-more-modest refrigerator/freezer was my own purchase.  It has no fancy door dispenser.  It doesn’t even have an ice maker.  Yet, even in these most hot and humid days, I somehow manage to stay well-hydrated with real, honest-to-goodness brewed iced tea, cooled by ice I extract myself from my three very plain white plastic ice trays.  
What I like about ice trays:
  • the cold blast of air when the freezer is opened
  • trying to remember if the top tray has had time to freeze
  • the way the tray slides around a little bit when it’s put on the counter
  • the small but significant struggle to twist the ice loose
  • watching some cubes pop loose in one piece and others crack
  • choosing which ice-ejection technique to use — dump it, dig it out, or stick it to the finger
  • getting the cubes out of the tray and into the glass, which is never a clean process
  • not wanting to leave the drink long enough to refill the trays
  • so, sometimes I don’t fill them up right away
  • waving the tray under the faucet (or pouring water) and tilting to even it out
  • deciding whether to take the time to put the new tray on the bottom of the stack
And you can put little “extras” in the ice cubes.  My favorite is a mint sprig.

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