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The ice cubes are lovely served in summer drinks; the ice mold makes a very elegant addition to a punch bowl. This is from the Joy of Cooking. (Note: "cooking" time is freezing time.)
- FOR DECORATIVE ICE CUBES: put small chunks of fruit or mint sprigs into an ice tray, fill with water and freeze.
- Serve the ice cubes directly in drinks, or put them out in a glass bowl or ice bucket with tongs.
- FOR THE DECORATIVE ICE MOLD: you will need a glass bowl that is smaller than your punch bowl, plus a second shallow container of equal volume.
- Fill the shallow container with water and let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes, stirring it from time to time to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Line the bottom (but not up the sides) of the empty glass bowl with fruit and/or flowers of your choice.
- Take a tablespoon or so of water from the shallow container and pour this water over the fruit/flower layer, then put the glass bowl in the freezer, leaving it there until the fruit/flower layer is anchored in ice.
- Next, pour another tablespoon or so of the reserved water over the first (now frozen), and allow this to freeze; continue adding water and letting it freeze until the fruit/flower layer is just barely covered in ice.
- Now start going up the bowl, laying fruit and/or flowers against the side of the bowl, and pouring water over them a little at a time, allowing the water to freeze to anchor the fruit and/or flowers against the side of the bowl.
- Continue adding water and allowing it to freeze until the bowl is full of ice.
- When you're ready to use the mold, let the bowl sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes; or alternatively, put it in a slightly larger bowl containing warm water for a couple of minutes.
- When the ice has melted just enough so that it's no longer stuck to the side of the bowl, invert the whole thing inside your punch bowl; the result will be a mound of ice with fruit and flowers all over its surface (Note: when you pour some punch over it, the ice surface will become clear, though it's usually opaque when it first comes out of the mold).