The Christmas countdown is officially on! In just a few days Santa will be coming to town, leaving presents and stocking stuffers to be opened on Christmas morning. (I don’t think Santa has gotten the memo that us “kids” are in our mid to late twenties, but that’s neither here nor there!)
This year will be an especially exciting one because my little brother is coming home for the holidays! After university he got a job in Calgary so it’s been a little while since I’ve seen him (he didn’t come home last Christmas).
We have lots of funny family memories involving my mischievous brother. Many of them involve him climbing door frames and huge pine trees or spilling his glass of milk every night at dinner. One memory that stands out in my mind was from New Year’s Eve 1999. My dad was called in to work because of all the Y2K paranoia, so my sister, brother and I spent the evening helping our mom make appetizers and other party treats. It was strange not having dad around that night, so we made a little party of it to pass the time until he came home after midnight.
One of the special projects of the night, which 13-year-old me took charge of with my mom’s help, was a punch bowl ice ring. We’re a very food centric family, so food related projects like this were the norm. We took care to decorate it, freeze it and pop it out into a bowl of non-alcoholic punch. So pretty!
It hadn’t been floating for more than 60 seconds when my brother (9 years old at the time) walked by, poked his head over the bowl and proceeded to break up the ice ring with the serving spoon. He thought he was doing us a favour by crushing up the floating ice in the punch bowl. It was a completely innocent mistake, but I was beyond pissed! Remember, I was 13. My mom laughed but I couldn’t see the funny side of my artful creation getting wrecked. All that work for nothing!
I mentioned this memory to my mom yesterday and we had a good laugh (I’ve since forgiven my little bro!). In the spirit of nostalgia, we decided to recreate our punch bowl ice ring for Christmas Eve tomorrow. It’s in the freezer as I write this, waiting to be plopped into our holiday punch bowl. Hands off this time, Nick!
Unfortunately I’m sans DSLR throughout Christmas and our upcoming trip to the Caribbean, and it’s frankly killing me! I didn’t feel like bringing it on our trip, and since we’ll be heading straight from my parents’ house to the airport after Christmas, bringing my camera here would’ve meant leaving it in our car at the airport. No thanks! That was a very roundabout way of saying that you’ll have to forgive these photos :)
How to make a festive punch bowl ice ring
- A bundt pan
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- Freezer space!
How to do it:
Arrange the citrus slices in an overlapping fashion and scatter cranberries on top. Pour enough water overtop to cover, carefully rearranging any citrus slices that have shifted around, if needed. Transfer to the freezer and freeze until completely solid. To release ice ring from mold, run hot water along the outside of the bundt pan until ice ring comes loose. Transfer immediately to a punch bowl filled three quarters of the way with punch.