Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

I love ice.

It's one of my favorite substances in the world. Right up there with water, mist and steam. It has been my great and glorious pleasure to live in a house, this past year-and-a-half, with an automatic ice maker.
Free ice. On demand. Imagine that.

I still hoard the stuff, though. When the ice bucket's full I dump it right into a bag, so that bucket can fill up again, with more of the fresh delicious stuff.

My obsession with ice stems from all our years on the road. Ice was treasure. Ice was gold. Ice kept our groceries fresh, our happy hour drinks refreshing, and our milk for morning coffee unsullied.

That's what I love about ice. It's got so many uses. It's such a giving, friendly, undemanding friend.

I also love the sound of ice, getting poured into a cooler.
This summer, just as predicted, I spent a lot of time at various and sundry beaches, always with a trusty Oscar in hand, full of beer and wine and snacks -- you've got to prepare for at least two sessions (lunch and happy hour) at the beach, you know.

The bucket of love (which arrived within a bigger bucket of love) has been a spectacular new addition to the proceedings.
We've had some awesome coolers full of that awesome one-two punch -- ice-and-beers -- over the years:.

A few days after our epic Poconos vacation my sister Julie texted me, "I miss your cooler of love." The cooler in the Poconos was indeed full of love: cans of Yuengling and cans of Becks? And cans of seltzer, underneath? In one cooler of love? Be still, my beating heart. .
We spent most of the winter of 2003 in Mexico's Baja Peninsula, and always had a cooler of love going there:
Tecate in Baja California Norte . . .

. . . and, after crossing Guerrero Negro into Baja California Sur, Pacifico. And ne'er the twain shall meet.
Baja is arid and desert-like, but has the best and cheapest water -- and ice -- in the world, because every tiny little town has a desalination machine. Mistah once made the mile-walk home from town to Campo Gecko with a couple of bags of ice. Dripping onto his sandals. Which made me weep.
And speaking of arid and desert-like, Nogales Arizona has the same climate as Baja. It does not, however, have the same beauty. It did, however, for days and days -- for nine days -- provide us with free ice. The best kind.
But my favorite use of ice?
One that makes me and, clearly, the angels, sing?.

Now we're talking.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Around the beer and in the wine.


Logical Libby said...

I LOVE ice in wine. It almost makes it into a slushy. When our ice maker broke I was despondent.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know I had a fellow ice freak!
The hardest thing about traveling for me is not having constant ice.
I like ice in everything--beer,yes coke (not so weird) and O.K., yes, even in white wine.
Loved your column
Pat (Beth's Mom)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I still miss the cooler of love. I love an ice filled cooler or glass as much as the next guy, but I must stay that the last photo almost looked like a glass of icy water, which made me salivate at this early morning hour. You know what else is magically transformed by the addition of ice? COFFEE. Yum.


Captain Dumbass said...

I LOVE that picture of you on the couch with the sun reflecting off the ice.

And now I want a beer.

XUP said...

I have kind of a hate/hate relationship with ice. I never put ice in my drinks. Ice cubes always smell funny and taste odd. I don't like falling down on the ice in the winter. And most of my memories of ice-filled coolers are from when we had long-term power failures and need to save our perishables -- which we pathetically fished out, soggy and less than cold when we got hungry enough.

Chris said...

Hi Ellie. I read your blog faithfully - and this time, had to comment on your post. This past summer, we went on a beach vacation where we were lucky enough to get FREE ice from our landlord - from a commercial grade, small cube, ice machine. It was heaven - plenty of ice for our "buckets of love" and also plenty of perfectly sized cubes for the one(or many) cocktails mixed at the end (or start) of each day. Love your blog. See you soon!!!!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Lots of great comments. Who doesn't love ice?

Perhaps all those folks who prefer their water at room temperature...

For some reason I get a kick out of how much dogs enjoy ice cubes.


Kathi D said...

The Chosen Wine.

On our trip to Africa, we had a driver that came highly recommended by friends. He was all that and more, and one of his claims to fame was that every single morning our coolers were filled with ice--something quite rare and precious at that time and place. He was a great negotiator, and knew where the bodies were buried and how to get into locked doors.

Lola said...

I can honestly say that I've never thought that much about ice until now! My only obsession with it would probably be my love of ice skating.

Of course, I use it in margaritas and to fill up a cooler now and again, but I like my water sans ice. Plus, I'm a red wino, and it's against the law to put ice in the red unless you're making sangria.

Great idea with the bag in the freezer, though. I'm going to start doing that to gear up for our Halloween party!!!