Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ice, Ice, Baby

Before the glorious silicone ice cube tray — before the glorious automatic ice cube maker in the freezer ­— before the glorious automatic ice cube and/or crushed ice and/or ice-cold water dispenser embedded in the door — there was the metal ice cube tray. It consisted of a shallow metal tray into which you placed a metal spine with flat metal ribs along with your water, and placed in your freezer compartment. Once frozen, the idea was that you lifted a lever on the spine, which would move the ribs, thereby popping out your ice cubes.

This never happened. First, the water spilled all over the place. Then, it sat unevenly in the freezer atop a growing mound of white ice growing steadily inwards from every surface, embedding anything else stored in there: peas, steaks, vodka, spare cash, etc. Then, when you wanted an ice cube or two, you had to hold frozen metal, so the skin of your hands would get stuck to it. Then you’d have to stand there holding the whole thing under a warm tap to free your hand and loosen the rock-hard ice. Then, you couldn’t possible move the lever, which was frozen in place, so you took to smashing the tray on the edge of your table to shock the ice into falling out. All this did was dent your table. So then you’d throw it on the floor, hoping that would dislodge everything. If successful, you’d then get on your hands and knees picking up ice cubes which had scattered everywhere, picking up all the crud off your floor on the way. You’d always miss one or two which had shot under the stove or fridge, where it would melt, leaving a seemingly inexplicable pool you’d either slip and fall in or make you worry that the fridge was leaking. After you’d mopped up your kitchen floor, the usable ice cubes (those which hadn’t shattered into a million shards or become encrusted with debris) were already melting. 

By this time, you needed a stiff drink in which to put those cubes.

Your Frigidaire Recipes, General Motors Corporation, 1568 [sic]

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