The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Opinion: Drinks just aren't the same without ice cubes


July 19, 2020

I might have ice running through my veins (or not), but my icemaker has its problems.

I’ve replaced it once, gave it up for dead earlier this year only to have it come back to life and now I’m once again without automatic cubes.

That’s no problem, I grew up with ice trays in the freezer so I know what to do. Still all that extra work, it takes less than five minutes to crack the cubes and refill four trays, gave me time to reflect.

I suppose today if the icemaker in the refrigerator isn’t working, today’s generation makes a trip to the convenience store for a bag of ice.

We had several designs of ice trays growing up. Some had a little lever built onto the aluminum cube divider. Ours required a little rubber-handled tool that pried the dividers over to loosen the ice after water was run across the bottom of the tray. Later, plastic trays that twisted became popular. They didn’t always last a long time, however.

My grandmother froze ice in empty milk cartons she had rinsed out so that she had block ice that could be chipped up to make hand-cranked freezer ice cream or to pack an ice chest for a picnic.

I distinctly remember for most of my life referring to the electric refrigerator as the icebox. I’m not sure how that persisted because I’m not too sure either of my parents could actually remember a true icebox with a block of ice in it that was delivered every couple of days by an iceman. Their parents were all familiar with an icebox, though, so the reference holdover can be placed on my grandparents.

I was interested to learn that the ice trade didn’t really take off until 1806 when Frederic Tudor launched it from New England. After the U.S. Civil War the market expanded rapidly across the U.S. with an ice house next door to every train depot in the country.

I’ve long marveled at how they harvested ice from lakes, rivers and ponds in the north and managed to store those ice blocks into the summer insulated in sawdust inside an ice house.

When Portales hit a spate of 100-degree weather for better than a week, did the ice house shut down for the summer the next week?

Even with a refrigerator to chill tea, pops and even water, things just aren’t the same without cubes in the mix. Even with my super-insulated, vacuum-sealed drink cup, I need ice to start the day on weeks like we just experienced.

I understand the need for floating cubes of ice in my beverage so well that I truly believe, and always have, that I could sell ice to an Eskimo.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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