I can’t chomp down on a piece of crushed ice without thinking about my Dad. In fact, if you ask anyone in my family, they’d say the two go hand in hand.

For as long as I can remember, my Dad has been a huge crushed ice fanatic, dare I say connoisseur. He always knew what kind of ice each restaurant had; which ones had the “good ice” as we call it. For a while, he had a little arrangement with a local barbeque restaurant, he’d pay them to let him fill his cooler up with their ice and we’d have crushed ice at every family gathering. No one even bothers to go to the fridge for ice; the rumbling and churning of an ice machine is not a sound heard in Dad’s house. Nope, everyone knows to go out on the back porch, you see, that’s where the “good ice” is kept. Since then, my Dad has gotten a crushed ice machine of his own; a big beauty that pumps out the most beautiful, white crunchy ice. So there’s never any question, when we get together… Dad’s bringing the ice.

All this talk about ice reminds me of a funny story. When Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I got engaged, we had a little party in South Georgia to celebrate with friends and family. Of course, we wanted the “good ice”, so Dad packed up a huge cooler of it and drove it 4 hours south for the party.

At the end of the night, as things were winding down, I went out to the garage to get an ice refill. To my horror, I found the cooler empty! Yes, completely empty. Frantically I looked all around in the dark garage. Where in the world could it be? There’s no way we plowed through a 100-quart cooler of ice in a matter of hours. Then something caught my eye. In the driveway I saw something sparkle in the dark. Nooo! It can’t be!

Yes, the entire ice chest had been dumped out. In an effort to start cleaning up, my uncle decided the ice should be the first to go. Poor Uncle Guy, guess he had no idea how nuts my Dad’s side of the family is about our ice. I walked like a zombie back into the house. Everyone was laughing and carrying on when I blurted…

“Umm, someone dumped out all the ice.”

The room got deathly quiet, you would’ve thought they’d all just seen a ghost. “What’d you say?”

“Someone dumped out the ice.”

The room erupted into chaos. People jumped up out of their chairs and got all in a hubble to see what was going on. (You see, most parties end when the beer is gone, in our family, the party ends when the ice is out.)

Several of us went outside to the scene of the crime. “It’s all in a pile. The stuff on top still has to be clean, let’s save it!”

So, like a bunch of loons, we started shoveling the ice from the driveway back into the cooler. You might laugh, but we saved enough ice for the whole gang to get one more icy fix that night.

All I have to say to Dad is, “remember when Uncle Guy dumped out the ice?” and he gets on a roll, laughing and re-telling the story over. It’s one of those that never gets old. Good times.

Posted 4/13/11, Topic: Eats

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