If you live in the hot humid South, Ice isn’t optional, it’s a necessity… I learned this from an early age- my Uncle Charles owned an Ice House, back then folks had Ice Boxes- even when ladies began to buy refrigerators, many still said, ‘It’s in the Ice Box’. Where do you think Ice Box Pies came from? Anyway, Uncle Charles taught us, by example, that there is a culinary art form to-
- Icing down co-colas
- Ice was a must have to use with Rock Salt to make Homemade Ice Cream
- And of course the South cannot drink our Sweet Tea without Ice
Many of us pronounce- ‘Eye-ce’, with two syllables. Southern folks need our Ice. Mommas all over the South would say- ‘Stop crunchin’ that ice, your teeth are gonna fall out, not to mention it’s bad manners to sit there crunchin’ ice.’ And still, especially crude menfolks would sit there with glasses empty of all but the Ice, shaking it and then crunchin’ the Ice. Not southern ladies, oh no, we had Ice Water Teas- yes, you read that right- leave it to us to figure out a way to make Ice Water into a Tea! And, well, it was nice… a sparkling glass filled with Ice and maybe a sprig of Mint or a think slice of Lemon, walking around with a water glass, holdin’ it up above our waists. I recall going to an Ice Water Tea, the hostesses made festive ice cubes and put them in fancy glasses. They actually served Water with Ice Follies set on doilies atop Silver Trays! It was impressive!
I’ve been sipping my share of ice water while doing a little yard work here at the Cottage- the Wild Strawberries, Violas, Wood Violets, Clover and Oxalis are charming here in Springtime. I was reminded of Ice Rings -a Ring Mold studded with fruit and sometimes flowers, that floated lazily in a punch bowl for Teas, Parties and Weddings, surely that was how those hostesses figured out how to make festive ice cubes! I rounded up an old ice tray, clipped and washed a few leaves and blooms to make Ice Follies.
These are so easy, children can help out with the picking and making- and it sure would make a Mother’s Day Breakfast Tray or Brunch sweet and pretty. I’ve been putting mine in freezer bags to use through the spring and summer.
I imagine I will use mine to encourage hydratin’ myself or greeting a guest with-
- ‘Darlin’ would you like something to drink?’
- ‘Why yes, I am thirsty now that you mention it, but I’ll just take water.’
Won’t they feel special when the glass of water is served on a doily with an Ice Folly or two?
Maybe the custom of Ice Water Teas will be revived, at the very least, maybe you will just have a little fun making Ice Follies for Spring Parties, Teas, Graduations or to dress up an everyday meal. I’m gonna risk this- Ice Follies are a great way to say, ‘I love you berry much!’ or ‘Good Luck!’.
This has been a nostalgic week, my best friend from high school and college met me for lunch this week- halfway between her town and mine, she gave me a beautiful White Hydrangea in honor of my mother, we had such a good time!
The two of us attended quite a few of those Ice Water Teas together! Hopefully I will see her again soon, I know this for sure- every year the White Hydrangea blooms? I’ll think of my beautiful friend. Meanwhile, if you try making festive ice cubes? I’d love to hear your ideas for Ice Follies of your own…
Love y’all, Camellia
*Use only pesticide free- edible leaves, herbs or flowers when making Ice Follies!
*And photographs are obviously mine.