I'VE CONSIDERED COMPOSING AN ODE to ice machines. To me, there's just something really great about a big full cup of ice. It started when I was a kid. We vacationed at the shore in New Jersey, and there was a big ice machine on each floor that churned out small, square cubes. I was giddy! No ice trays to crack and refill and try not to spill as you replace them in the freezer! It was a full week of as much ice as I could possibly tote from the machine to our condo.
After all these years, the first thing I do as soon as I enter a hotel room is grab the ice bucket and find the ice machine. I rejoiced when one of my clients installed a countertop water and ice dispenser, just around the corner from my office, that filled my cup to overflowing with "chewy ice" just like at Royal Farms stores. If I win the lottery, I'm buying one for my home.
It will come as no surprise that I require a prolific ice maker in my home freezer. It's not as good as having a dedicated ice machine, but it's the next best thing, especially when there's in-door dispensing. I don't have that now, but the in-freezer ice maker is fast and efficient. The only problem is that the automatic arm doesn't click to "off" when the "cubes" (they aren't actually cube-shaped) fill the bin, causing ice to overflow into the rest of the freezer. I am in charge of its manual operation and remain vigilant in my duty.
Today is Haiku Thursday, and as such I must limit my tribute to just 17 syllables:
And to answer the question this haiku might prompt – yes, there are two here, and AM I EVER HAPPY.
February can be an awkward, even bewildering, time for sports fans. Winter begins with college football hype and the end of the NFL regular season. January brings an endless string of bowl games, then the NFL playoffs. Then the two-week hype building up to the Super Bowl. The day after The Big Game can feel like a letdown. My sons are into hockey, and my youngest likes the NBA (we aren't sure where he gets this), so those are the sports that grace the TV in my house now.
As for me, this is the time I turn my attention to men's college basketball, as the conference tournaments approach, and then NCAA March Madness. I didn't know anything about March Madness until my first job in DC. (The basketball team at my college was not a contender.) The employees where I worked had a pool, and I filled out my first bracket, using the USA Today team analysis as a guide, then clutched it, highlighter in hand, while watching all the games on the first and second days of the tournament. Well, the late games, after work. This was long ago, in the Mesozoic era before the internet, when we had to call George Michael's Sports Machine hotline to get the latest scores.
As I write this, I have learned that pitchers and catchers reported for Spring training yesterday. Which means springtime, and baseball, are just around the corner. The mornings are getting lighter and daylight lingers a little longer in the evening. Longer, better days are ahead. They have to be. (Don't they?)
I still have two kinds of cookies I want to make (pecan tassies and my cousin Linda's Kolachi), plus more butter brickle and sand tarts. And probably also more homemade gumdrops (I make the grapefruit variation in the recipe I linked, and have used tangerines in place of grapefruit with excellent results).
There's time, though, right? Of course there is. I have the whole weekend!
Merry Christmas, friends.