This method makes clear ice

This method makes clear ice

It was just another television commercial for a refrigerator, and I am unsure why, but it left me feeling uneasy, like I had just witnessed the beginning of the fall of the American Empire.

In fact I was so confused after the thing aired that I wasn’t sure what they were selling — an appliance, drinks, kitchen countertops or ice. My wife thought I should go to the hospital and check for a stroke.

I know that’s a lot of reaction to a commercial. But get this: It aired again, so I could sort out that it was for a home refrigerator featuring “craft ice.” The fridge produces perfect, little spheres of crystal-clear ice, like the kind used in drinks at high-end bars and for any kind of photo shoot featuring an iced beverage.

It struck me that it is a perfect illustration of America right now. We are a country with numerous, serious and seemingly intractable problems.

The divide between those who can afford to support themselves and may even be able to depend on getting health care and those who do not see those luxuries on the horizon anytime soon is balanced by the fact that anyone of suburban two-car-garage means can afford to buy a refrigerator that delivers fancy ice on demand.

It occurred to me I would not want to be the fellow waiting in line for heaven having to come up with an excuse for spending money for such an extravagance. This is where revolts against the bourgeoisie come from.

A little investigating showed me I’m behind the times in ice fashion. There are self-described “ice nerds” who care about this stuff deeply and are on the quest to obtain the perfect cube, exchanging methods and product reviews.

It’s easy to spend quite a lot of money to get pretty ice, with countertop machines claiming to carefully freeze the cubes running into the hundreds of dollars and a big machine capable of supplying a restaurant priced at thousands.

Ice gets cloudy and white because it freezes quickly in the temperatures we typically keep our home freezers set to. The gasses and impurities in the water have no chance to escape, so they’re frozen in place, causing a cloudy appearance. It also makes for ice that is more brittle and melts faster.

The cheap way to get clear ice is to start with pure, distilled or filtered water or water that has been purified with reverse osmosis. Boil this water, let it cool, then boil it again, allowing gasses to escape. Let this cool, covered, then freeze it with plastic wrap, covering the ice tray to make sure nothing scrambling around in your freezer lands in the freezing water, making it imperfect and unfancy.

I’ve not tried this method because the instruments that might be employed to find my interest in making fancy ice are thousands of miles away in space observatories. But I have it on solid background this method works, from someone who uses it on a large scale. And I could justify taking the time to make fancy ice for a party over the approaching holiday season.

Big, clear cubes of fancy ice are pretty cool. But having such ice all the time, always ready from your fridge, just sounds like asking for the wrath of the Creator. It’s not like Jesus asked for the filtered, gassed-off water before he turned it into wine.

I confess I have a couple of ice trays that make great, big, round ice, but in my defense it’s always guilt-free cloudy stuff. And I have to physically fill them, so I never bother because there’s cloudy, brittle, fast-melting, proletarian ice already available.

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