Posted by: mdmusingsie | November 27, 2015

More Ice, Sir?

I love ice. Well, not on roads when I’m driving or sidewalks when I’m strolling. A tree with a thin layer of ice appears as if it’s encased in crystal. But what I’m really talking about is ice from the freezer – and not the kind that seems to appear out of nowhere, slowly forming icebergs on the top, bottom, and sides, threatening to swallow entire bags of peas in one gulp (and just why, in this day and age are they still selling freezers that grow ice and take half a day to defrost, leaving puddles on the floor and Titanic sinking sized chunks in the sink – I mean really, this is the 21st century – they started making frost-free freezers when I was young, which is gaining on being a really long time ago).

Pardon the digression, I do tend to go off on a tangent on occasion – the ice I’m talking about is the kind you put in drinks.

It’s not easy to get a full glass of ice in Ireland (or the UK for that matter). As I’ve undoubtedly mentioned in the past, I often feel like Oliver Twist when I ask for “more, sir” when I’m given a glass with a stingy two or three cubes. Do they get charged by the cube?

I like my water chilled to just under slush status. I like my soft drinks the same way, along with my preferred way of drinking tea. On an average day, I go through an entire tray of ice during at work (a tray that I imported from the US as I couldn’t find any decent sized, non silicone ones here); then another half to full tray at home, depending on the weather and what time I arrive home.

I find I actually drink more water when it’s cold. If it’s gone to room temperature I’ll still sip, but not as greedily as when it has a nice chill. So much easier to get my recommended daily allowance with the cool version. I am afraid, though, that I must dispel some claims that drinking cold water helps burn more calories because it takes energy to warm your body after drinking cold drinks. If that were true I’d look more like Twiggy than, well, me.

In Ireland, only the American restaurant chains put a decent amount of ice in a cold drink. I’ve been in plenty of pubs where I haven’t even seen an ice maker. The ice is kept in a bucket on the shelf, causing me to wonder if the iceman delivered it that day and when it’s gone you just have to wait for the next days’ delivery.

On the flip side, sometimes in the US you get more ice in your glass than beverage, but at least most sit-down restaurants give free refills (good luck with that, here).

I’ve come to terms with the odd looks that I get when I ask for lots of ice in a pub or restaurant, but something I saw recently demonstrated the true nature of the relationship the Irish have with ice and had me howling with laughter.

The Late, Late Toy Show happens annually around this time of year (by the way, here, late, late means 9:30 pm, which is a total dichotomy to the 4 am late that people stagger in from the pubs, but I digress again). They were showing clips of the ghosts of Toy Shows past this week and one episode back in the 80’s, I believe, had a girl with a snowman shaped snow cone maker on the program. The children usually demonstrate how the toys work; however, this poor girl was unable to fulfill her duty as the producers and RTE were unable to locate any ice! That, for me summed things up like nothing else could have.

If you’re interested in watching the Late Late Toy Show this year and aren’t in Ireland, it’s actually going to be streamed live on the RTE web site today. If you miss it live you can watch the re-runs online for at least a few weeks.

Happy Black Friday Shopping!  You just might need an ice cold beverage after all that pushing, shoving, grabbing, and charging.

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