The Great Ice Wars of 2012

If you don’t hear from me after today, it’s because The Great Ice Wars of 2012 have finally reached their inevitable conclusion and I’m lying dead on the kitchen floor.

What are The Great Ice Wars of 2012?  I’m so glad you asked.

ice cubes

You see, it’s New Years Eve which means the entire family is in party prep mode.  For my mother, this means decorating everything in sight (I’m serious: we have bedazzled ice buckets).  For my father this means making ice.

Mind you, we have a perfectly nice ice warehouse across the street (actually I think it’s some kind of beer depot but as a skilled laborer, I’m never sent on beer runs) that sells bags of ice for a few dollars.

They’re already frozen and ready to go, and the best part is if you don’t buy them until just before the party, you don’t have to store them until just before the party.  We have a regular sized refrigerator in the kitchen, a mini refrigerator on the 4th floor next to the roof deck and a small freezer in the pantry but still, there is never enough room on New Years.

This is because every year my mother decides to try “just a few” new recipes.  This year, a “few” happens to be twelve.  We had a family meeting to discuss everyone’s New Years Eve duties a few nights ago and my dad tried to convince her to scale back but he was, as usual, unsuccessful.

In the interest of keeping the peace, I got her to turn over three recipes to Yours Truly (chili, ceviche and bacon-wrapped dates) but I’m still preparing for a blow out somewhere between noon and 8:00pm when the first guests arrive.


Because of the ice.  A few days ago, my dad started stockpiling.

And by “stockpiling,” I mean he’s been emptying the ice tray in our freezer into a large plastic garbage bag, which he’s storing in the freezer in the pantry.  My mom didn’t realize he was doing this until she attempted to extract some actual food from the freezer.

“What is this?” she demanded.

“Pop’s ice bag,” I replied.  “He’s making ice for the party.”

“Why is he making ice when he could just buy ice across the street?  We don’t have room for this here!”

“He doesn’t like their ice.”

“What is wrong with their ice?”

“It’s not as good as our ice, he says.  It sticks together.  Plus it’s been melted and refrozen a hundred times.  And he doesn’t like the shape of the cubes.”

(I wish I was making this up but I’m not.  My dad takes his role as bar tender very seriously.)

“Well this is ridiculous!  Tell him to get rid of this!  We don’t have room for it.  I’ve never heard anyone complaining about the quality of the ice at our parties!”

I’m not sure whatever happened to my dad’s ice bag after that.  I’ve found, after nearly three decades of New Years Eves, that it’s better not to take sides and to retreat to one’s bedroom as often as possible.

I’m really hoping that The Great Ice War of 2012 resolves itself before tonight, however, because TWD’s entire family is coming.

Yep, you heard that right: his kids, his parents, even his grandmother from Queens.

And even though I’ve spent enough time with them at this point to know that they have plenty of their own quirks, their quirks seem somehow… less quirky.  By which I mean less crazy.  Almost charming, even.

In fact, I’m pretty sure they don’t argue about ice.

Did I mention that this will be the first time our parents will be meeting one another?

(And on a related note, is 8:30am too early to start drinking?)

20 Responses to “The Great Ice Wars of 2012”

  1. Landlord

    ROTFLMAO, what is so sad is that it is really true…but I did really scale back, not making any time intensive desserts, one less soup and other than the martini glass I really didn’t add any new decorations for NYE, just sprucing up the old ones…oh, yeah I forgot the place card holders for the food labels…I think I am less stressed feeling though, after all, I now have a daughter who is doing 2 of the time intensive items, Abuela can actually do the bacon/dates 🙂 gonna be fun as always, once we get through the prep, and its almost all done already.

  2. Fiercely Yours

    A couple drinks are probably good, but don’t use too much ice before the party. Sounds like a fun way to bring in the new year. Wishing you the best!

  3. Tracy

    This is hysterical! I am going to miss you all terribly. Carry on, my friends, carry on!!!!

    • Kat Richter

      Yes! I’m very sad the B gang won’t be here this year 😦 But at least we can sing the unedited version of Cee Lo’s you-know-what without worrying about censure! LOL– have a Happy New Year!

  4. Chauffeur

    To be clear, there is a HUGE difference in the ice that Cody (unskilled labor) will pickup later this afternoon and the ice I make. The beer distributor ice is fine for in a tub keeping white wine and beer cold, but is not certainly up to par for “rocks” in your glass. Sipping a classic cocktail in a glass with perfectly formed ice, (3 or 4) is way better that a glass with a frosty re frozen ice berg clump that has an elevated peak above the the rim of the glass, possibly shifting as the glass is tilted back to be drank, striking the drinker in the upper lip. The horror!

    Additionally, I do not like my “blinged out” ice buckets. I take my bar equipment seriously, shakers, muddling sticks, stirring implements, lime smushers, and such…., the “blinging of the buckets” was a case of Debi way overstepping her role, almost as if she had rearranged the tools in my garage or something. But I can accept it and move on.

    I have been monitoring the outside temperature for days, Hi 30’s at game time, so Nature’s refrigerator will be fine for chilling champagne or beer…. but not adequate for keeping perfect ice cubes frozen, thus the NEED for the extra bags in the freezer.

    Happy New Years to all, and as you sip a cocktail this evening, where ever you are, pay close attention to the ice in your glass…. and do not take it for granted!! How 2013 begins may set the tone for the whole year, and the ice in your glass may just determine how that new year begins!!

  5. jlillymoon

    It’s five o’clock some where. I remember when my parents and Brian’s met for the first time. Brian and I got to the bar at the restaurant first and had a few. It was nerve wracking to say the least. But now they are all good friends. Someday you should go to my fathers blog and read what he wrote about my father in law the day he died. Heart breaking. But as for your father and the ice…. Remember who raised him. It sounds like a grandfather quirk.

  6. Laurie

    OMG, this sounds like the best bash possible. Concentrating on the quality of the ice should limit the apprehension of your folks meeting TWD’s folks, so pay close attention to the clarity and quality of those frozen cubes! I will want recipes along with all the juicy details! 8:30 am is not too early to start when it’s NYE weekend and the parents are about to meet. Just call it brunch and make a mimosa.

  7. Chauffeur

    Mimosas…. excellent idea Laurie, Happy NY,
    Jillymoon, I had read what your Dad wrote and it was very touching and sweet. but a G-father quirk??? He would have used ice that had been if the freezer for 12 mos, absorbing food odors and tastes, Give me a little more credit than that, LOL I take parties and party details seriously here!!

  8. W

    Happy New Year, Kat! Hold off on the drinking for a few more hours or you’ll never make it to midnight. This sounds like an important year to be awake to kiss someone..

    • Kat Richter

      Thank you! Sadly Debbie won’t be joining us this year but I think we’ll have to plan a trans-Atlantic soiree sometime in the near future! Happy New Years to your family as well 🙂

  9. becky119

    Sounds awesome. When I read the title I thought that you were talking about ice outside. It made me think about the fact that yesterday I was almost killed by ice falling off my roof. Then the post was totally different but completely awesome. Hope you have a great New Years and good luck with the meeting of the parents! 🙂


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