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Ice Candles

 

Today's Snack: Strawberry sorbet. It's pronounced "sor-BAY," and it's a French word for a fruit dessert that's almost like a sherbet. But it's fewer calories, and it's light and tasty. All you have to do is to cut up strawberries, discard the green tops, and put the rest into the blender. One cup of strawberries will make one serving of sorbet. For every cup of strawberries, add a little sugar, too - one teaspoon or a little more. Also pour in just a dash of lemon juice to bring out the flavor of the fruit - if you're measuring, make it about one-eighth of a teaspoon -- and a tablespoon or two of water. Once you have those ingredients in place, whirl away! Blend on high power for a couple of minutes to try to get a lot of air and "fluff" into your sorbet. Pour into one dish, or individual serving cups. Freeze for at least an hour; larger quantities in larger containers take longer to freeze. Take out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving so it won't be so hard to eat with a spoon.

 

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Supplies:

 

Large empty cans, 48-oz. or 64-oz. (large chicken broth cans, for example)

OR plastic summer beach pails

OR small plastic tubs, such as a Cool Whip container

OR any other containers with a shape that pleases you

For every container, you need one small tin can or plastic cup

Rocks

Votive candles

 

Nothing makes winter as beautiful as fire. With this idea, you can bring the diamond sparkles of ice to life by making a "candle holder" out of ice.

 

This is another one of those activities that makes living in a cold climate fun. But even if you don't, you can always make ice candles in your own freezer! However, it's a lot easier when it's far below freezing outside and you don't have to worry about taking up freezer space for your project.

 

Do you know what a "mold" is? No, not the green stuff that forms on the leftovers in your refrigerator. A "mold" is something that you use to shape something else. For this project, we are going to use cans or plastic buckets or tubs to "mold" water into ice shapes. Of course, we have to put the containers full of water outside to get the water to freeze into ice. But that comes next.

 

The first step is to fill your mold - a can, bucket or pail -- with tap water that's just as cold as you can get it to come out of your faucet. Now put a small tin can or plastic cup into the middle of that larger container of water. Inside the tin can or plastic cup, put enough rocks to weigh it down enough to almost, but not quite, sink it. It's as if you're making a "pouch" at the top of your ice candle, displacing the water by putting the can or cup there. When the water freezes and you take the tin can or plastic cup away, you will have a "hole" in the middle.

 

For more shallow containers such as Cool Whip tubs, the can or cup will probably not float, but will probably rest in the middle of the tub. Make sure to put enough rocks or other weights there to hold the can or cup in place. If it tends to drift off center, you can try this: Put a ruler or dowel across the top of the container and secure the smaller can or cup to the ruler with duct tape. The can or cup should hang from the ruler, which in turn should hang from the edges of the larger container.

 

Place the bucket outside or in the freezer until the water is frozen solid.

 

When it's ready, carefully remove the block of ice from the pail or bucket. You might need to loosen the ice by running warm tap water over the bucket's surface for a few moments. Once the ice is free from the bucket, the next step is to remove the tin can or plastic cup from the center of the block. If the can or cup seems stuck in the ice you, warm up some water in the microwave and fill it; it should slide right out.

 

Now put a votive candle in the "hole," light it, and enjoy the beauty of your ice candle! Remember, if you want to enjoy it for more than a few minutes, you'll have to put it outside! Try putting it at your front door, out of the wind, when company is coming over. Makes a nice welcoming touch!

 

If you want to get fancy, you can freeze one-inch layers of water that has been colored with food coloring. You can make rainbow ice candles in that way.

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Holidays and Seasons 07 2008

 

 

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