Monday, September 26, 2011

The Ice Queen

As a child, my brother and I always had chores. On Saturday mornings he would vacuum the house while I dusted and wiped down the bathroom. When the dishwasher was full of clean dishes, it was his job to empty the bottom rack and I had to empty the top rack. We were responsible for keeping our own rooms clean and our cloths put away, and he took out the trash. I took care of the cats, he took care of the dog. Pretty normal stuff.

Except for the Ice.

Yes, Ice with a capital I, because it was that important. For those of you who don't remember, freezers did not always come equip with built in ice makers. Back in the old days (like 1990) if you wanted ice cubes, you had to fill a plastic tray with water and wait for HOURS until the water froze. Then you had to bust the frozen blocks out of their plastic tray and voila! Ice cubes!

In my house, ice cubes were as precious as gold. My mother had a pretty serious iron deficiency, so she had an intense craving to chew on ice cubes. Not just regular old ice cubes, but special cubes made in an ice cube tray that you couldn't buy at the store. It came with some other old freezer from our past, and the cubes were smaller and rounder, more easily chewable, than the traditional ice cube. They looked kind of like an igloo. As soon as those cubes were solidified the tray needed to be emptied into the bin and re-filled. Every day of my life from about age nine until eighteen.

Not long after I moved out of the house my parents bought a new one, and their new freezer had an ice maker. And most of my apartments and homes have had them as well, so I thought the ice tyranny had reached its conclusion.

And then we moved to West Virginia.

The people who built this house twenty-some years ago had a professional chef in the family, so all of our kitchen appliances are commercial. The stove and oven and flat top are amazing, and the refrigerator and freezer are awesome as well. Except for one thing: the freezer lacks an ice maker. Which means I am back to my old tricks. Those ice cube trays from the old house are long gone, but luckily there are many good alternatives now that didn't exist back then. Luckily, my mother doesn't live here (yet) so I don't have to make ice on the daily, but as soon as they get here on the weekend the first thing my dad does is check to see if Ice needs made.

And so it goes. In exchange, my mom empties the dishwasher for me.

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