Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ode to the Ice Cube Tray

Once, you helped make our drinks cold.  But now, due to automatic icemakers, you are woefully underused.  And that is too bad, because you are useful in so many ways.

You can be used to freeze individual cubes of chicken broth (as I did this weekend for Freezer Cooking Days), to be used later to add flavor to sauces.  They can be melted in the microwave, or put right into the cooking pan, depending on what works with your recipe.

You can entertain a child, who can use you to make cheapo juice popsicles.  Pour juice into each space and cover with plastic wrap.  Freeze for half an hour so that it is a bit slushy, then stick a toothpick into the middle of each space.  Freeze until solid.

You can be used to store sauces from opened cans.  I recall reading a tip in The Tightwad Gazette about storing tomato sauce from a large can.  For the holidays, you could do this with cranberry sauce or canned pumpkin.

You can be used, as I did so many years ago, to store homemade pureed baby food.  Just be careful when reheating the food.  It's best not to use the microwave, as food can become very hot in some parts while cool in others.  Best to reheat in a saucepan, to control the temperature better.

You can be used to freeze leftover coffee, to be used in iced coffee drinks.

What creative ways do you have to use ice cube trays?

Check these sites for more great tips and frugal ideas:

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Coupon Teacher October 21, 2010 at 5:38 PM  

I need some ice cube trays! My ice maker makes smelly ice. I have cleaned and cleaned and put baking soda in the freezer to no avail!

Niki Jolene October 22, 2010 at 12:14 AM  

Nice collection of tips here! I also pour in red wine that we just won't finish up before it'll go bad. Freeze up the extra and pop a couple into the simmering pot while making homemade spaghetti sauce. The wine adds a nice richness to any meat based sauce!

Sophie October 22, 2010 at 2:37 PM  

I use them in my desk and junk drawers, when I am beading and to make herb cubes to cook with!

Anonymous,  October 22, 2010 at 4:52 PM  

When my kids were infants and we made their food we bought a couple of extra trays to have on hand for the freezing. After they were done with the whole mushy food time we had all these extra trays in the cupboard taking up space so we had to find extra ways to use them. Now I have 3 dedicated to starting seedlings in the spring and then they get tossed into the sandbox when I plant the seedlings outside!

Found you on tidymom, have a great weekend!

Lydia July 22, 2011 at 9:26 PM  

I use my old ice tray as a paint palette :) yay for being inventive!

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