Posted by: mdmusingsie | June 19, 2010

On Ice

This has always been a running joke with me about ice cubes in Europe in general. As far as I’m concerned, you never get enough. I’ve ordered a soda many a time in restaurants and pubs and the glass comes with two or maybe three ice cubes. At one point, I even wondered if somehow they were being charged by the cube and considered asking if I could possibly pay for more (but never did).

Even in the dead of winter I like my drinks one degree below slush (as in cold but not frozen). When the weather gets warm, the more ice the better to keep the beverage cold. All the sommeliers out there turn away, but on the rare occasions I drink wine, I like ice in there, too. I guess I’m just a cold beverage kind of person. I’ve even taken to ordering my beverages by specifying lots of ice, no longer caring if they look at me strangely; that’s just the way I like it. Some like their drinks shaken, others stirred, I like them on a mountain of ice, or at least a sizeable hill. In the US, they give you a ton of ice and very little beverage, hoping you won’t notice because the glass is so big. Here, the beverages are pre-measured in little bottles – appearance has no bearing.

Water is my preferred beverage most days, and the colder it is, the more I tend to drink. I’ve noticed that I don’t drink as much water here in Ireland because I can’t keep it cold. After discovering there were no ice trays in the apartment (we did finally find one a week or so later) one of my flat mates went out and bought a few at the 2 Euro store. She also picked up some of those plastic bags that you fill with water to make ice cubes. In both instances, you get what you pay for. The ice trays do not release the ice when you twist them, you must coax them out of their compartments. Forget the plastic bags, too, by the time you figure out how to get them open, a good part of the cube has returned to its original state and you just want to fling the whole thing out the window (not to mention they aren’t exactly environmentally friendly).

I went looking one day and actually came across one of those old fashioned ice trays with the metal contraption in the middle that you pull up on to release the cubes. I hadn’t seen one of those since I was a child (let’s not count the days). It was brand new as well – I didn’t know they made those kind anymore. However, I did not buy it, deciding it was just as much work as the 2 Euro ones. Additional searches turned up little in the way of alternatives, so over the weeks the ice trays and I have made peace and I even wrote a little poem in honor of them. It isn’t likely to win any literary prizes, but here goes:

We’ve come to an understanding
They never come out right away
Give them a minute or two
They will then emerge
As if they must first bid their dwelling adieu

Fluidly they enter
Steadfast they depart
Transitive, only to
Slowly return to their origins
In the interim
Refreshing the palette
Relief on warm days
Ice

Time to have another one on one with the ice tray….

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