For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is the time when we seem to use a lot of ice cubes to keep our drinks cool in the sweltering heat. For me, at any time of the year, I like my drinks to be ice cold, so while I go through more ice cubes in the summer, there are always ice cubes available in my freezer any day of the year!
For people who like to make smoothies or for those who live for ‘frozen’ alcoholic drinks, ice cubes on hand are also a major concern! Provided you’re proactive like I am about making certain to always have plenty on hand (my dream is an ice and water on the door fridge!), there are other ways to use ice cubes.
If you have hanging plants that require you to reach for the step-stool in order to water them, the next time you water them, add a few ice cubes around the plant as well. The ice cubes will melt slowly, providing a small but consistent amount of water to reach down to the roots over a period of time and without concern of causing a downpour from over-watering the plant. Ice cubes are an excellent way to water your live Christmas tree as well, for the same reason. In both cases, you won’t have to climb up on the step-stool or shimmy on your belly under the tree nearly as often!
If you’ve ever rearranged furniture, you know that heavy pieces tend to leave dents in the carpet where they’ve been sitting. An easy rehab? Place an ice cube directly on the dented area. Let the cube completely melt, and then brush (fingertips work fine) the nap in all different directions and it will snap back up!
Have a DIY caulking project? You know how difficult it can be to try and get a perfectly smooth line with your fingertips. Grab a piece of ice instead! Using a piece of ice will insure a nice even bead, and the caulking won’t stick to the ice like it does to your fingers!
No matter what flavor your local pharmacist offers in children’s medicines, kids often still turn up their noses at the taste. Give your child an ice cube to suck on before administering the medicine. This numbs the taste buds and allows the medicine to go down – and all without a spoonful of sugar!
An ice cube can also numb the area where a splinter has seated itself, making it easier to “dig” it out.
For a less expensive alternative to popsicles, make a flavored drink your children like and pour it into ice cube trays. When frozen enough, add a popsicle stick to each cube. Pop when completely frozen and let them enjoy! (Extra hint: to protect from dripping, slit and slide a cupcake paper up on the stick – it will catch any drips!)
Does your leftover rice dry out when you reheat it in the microwave? Put an ice cube in the center of the pile of rice before covering to reheat. The ice cube will melt as the rice reheats, giving the rice a much needed drink of moisture to return to its original texture.
If you like to make gravy from the drippings of roasted meat, you know that there is always fat in the broth you’ve made while roasting. Pour the broth into a bowl and add one or two ice cubes. The fat will quickly adhere to the ice cubes. Make sure you scoop the cubes out before they are completely melted, and you may have to do this step an additional time. Worth the effort though, over seeing your gravy boat start to cool with the gravy in it and the grease rising to the top!
If you have a garbage disposal, drop a handful of ice cubes into it now and again and turn it on. Any grease on the blades from use will cling to the cubes as they are ground up, making your disposal clean and grease free!
Ice cubes – they’re not just for drinks anymore!