After a super mild winter in southwestern PA, it seems we are to be hurled into a scorching summer. I may complain about the snow, but am so not a summer person. My brother had his Memorial Day picnic on Sunday. A hot, sunny day of 91 degrees F and a heat index of 95. It was fine for the pool people. The rest of us were equally wet, melting in the sun. He had plenty of shaded areas, but there is simply no escaping the heat.
I was in charge of bringing the cake. I made one with yellow cake mix and mandarin oranges, topped with vanilla pudding, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip®. Totally refreshing cake.http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/luscious-mandarin-orange-cake/02e67811-b56b-4047-8804-9cf3992dd249 But all I could think of on Saturday night was that it was going to be hot out there. Ice pops or Italian ice would taste great. The problem would be keeping them frozen. That’s when the proverbial light bulb went off!
I have an ice shaver in the house. Two, actually. One is electric and one manual. After a hunt for the electric one, I made sure it worked. But what if everyone wanted one at the same time? Maybe I should bring the manual one. Dug that one out of storage. I love the shaved ice on the manual machine, but it really calls for a special block of ice. With nothing to lose, I tossed in some ice cubes to see how it would work. As long as there was a lot of ice in the holder, it worked fine. Two ice machines packed and ready to go.
The plan was to run by Wal Mart and get the syrup, spoons and Styrofoam® cups – and ice. Good plan. Wal Mart only had one brand of ice syrup that I could find so bought several flavors. (Be warned, the Hawaiian Punch® brand green is not lime. The label says it’s some kind of berry, but it tastes like green apple.) Loaded the goodies in my cart and headed for the check out.
At the register, I had the checkout girl ring up 2 large bags of ice. Loaded everything into the car, including the two 22 lb bags of ice, which I put in the cooler. The lid didn’t close completely, but figured it would be fine for my short trip. Turned out that one of the bags had a hole in it – couldn’t have possibly been from my lugging and tugging – so I took out one of the ice cubes and popped it in my mouth. They weren’t cubes at all, but the cylinders with a hole in the center, exactly the ice I didn’t want. The last time I had bought this brand, they were cubes. Stopped at the local convenience store and asked the clerk if he knew if the ice was cubes or cylinders. After looking at me strangely, he believed they were cubes. Since there were bags in the inside cooler, I checked. Yep. Cubes. Just what I needed for the ice shaver to work correctly. So even though I wanted two bags I could only get one because I had no idea where to put the thing. I had an insulated bag in the car so dropped one of the cylinder ice bags into it. I now had 66 lbs of ice and have sweat dripping from every pore on my body. Seriously thought about just sitting on one of the bags. Naturally, there was no place close to park when I got to the party so I had to stop in the middle of the street and wrestle with the cooler and then the insulated bag, Forget the other stuff!
By the time I made it to the party, my 66 lbs of ice was no secret. One person wanted to know if I planned on opening a stand. Grrrr… Just for the record, we did use a good 30 lbs of ice.