As I filled my ice trays last night, I thought about the fact that my last blog was more than two weeks ago. I’ve been in Alabama during that time to see family, and my return back to Texas last week was also a return back to my day-to-day routine. Aside from an unplanned trip to the vet this week with Fish Taco (he’s on the mend), everything has been status quo lately. Truth be told, I’ve wanted to write for days but couldn’t think of a topic. Last night I had a moment over the sink, holding my plastic ice trays: “I could blog about ice.”
“That’s stinkin’ ridiculous,” I said back to myself as I stuffed the tray into the freezer, sloshing water onto the floor. In addition to being clumsy, I talk to myself.
But then this evening, I discovered that one of my newfound podcasts, The Sporkful, recently did a show about — tah dah — ICE CUBES! Apparently, they’re kind of a bone of contention among drink snobs. Something about the surface area to volume ratio… You can listen to the entire podcast here (it’s episode 73).
Somewhere along the way from their liquid to solid state, ice cubes have gotten fancy pants. How about some legos in your drink?
It’s hot as Hades in Texas, and that means I’m making iced tea like a mad woman. But ice trays can do more than make ice: the little plastic vessels are multi-functional tools. When I make pesto, I freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. That way, I have individual servings when I make pasta. You can also freeze leftover broth or sauce this way.
You can also use your trays to freeze coffee, so you avoid diluting your iced coffee with regular ice as it melts. Homemade Simple also recommends using trays to organize your office or craft supplies (admittedly, I’m not sure how well this would work, but feel free to try it for yourself).
Sometimes though, the best use for an ice cube tray is regular old ice, and regular old ice happens to be one of the main ingredients in my new favorite treat. Patrick and I are trying to visit Dairy Queen less frequently, and we’ve found a lovely substitute for ice cream. Almost nightly the last week or so, we’ve been making mango lassis. They’re much healthier and are deliciously refreshing during a hot summer evening. Interestingly, I don’t like mango fruit by itself. But when pulverized with yogurt and ice, I find it delightful.
To make the lassis for two (or three if you do small servings), take one large mango or two small mangos and peel the skin off. Cut the fruit away from the hard stone in the middle. Put the fruit, about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of plain yogurt (Greek yogurt will make a thicker drink but regular yogurt will also work well) and 6 ice cubes in a blender. (This is completely optional, but I also add a few drops of vanilla stevia extract.) Blend the ingredients until the mixture resembles a thick milkshake. Depending on your blender, you may need to add some milk to get things moving. Pour into glasses and enjoy!