In Melbourne, you don’t know if it will be hot or cold at Christmas. In the Mallee, you can guarantee it will be toasty but you don’t know if it will be 32° or 42°. And that means plenty of thirsty people so, at Christmas, Nanna would get out the punch bowl and whip up something fruity and refreshing (of which more later) and she would put a huge piece of ice in it that would keep the punch cool all day even though it was sitting on the dining table and not in the fridge.
Here’s the easy way to do punch ice: fill a few cake tins with water and put them in the freezer overnight.
And here’s the fancy way to do punch ice:
- Get a ring tin (a kugelhopf is perfect), pour one centimetre of water into the bottom and allow it to freeze.
- Then add a few more millimetres of water and arrange a selection of fruit on top (I always use raspberries because I have so many but strawberries are great and so are sliced oranges) and freeze again.
- Next cover the fruit in water and freeze again.
- Now add a tiny bit more water and add plenty of mint leaves and freeze.
- Finally, fill the tin to the top with water and freeze one more time.
Result: a Christmas wreath that will keep your punch cool and gradually release delicious fruit and fragrant mint.
I used to know (and laugh at) the traditional anniversary presents (paper, cotton, leather, fruit – really!) but Jeremy seems to think that the appropriate 2-month anniversary present is a Doctor Who monster mask. Mind you, Danni loved it and that’s what counts.
 Uncle Geoff used to run a sweep on the top temperature of Christmas Day but he stopped doing that the year he caught Peter manipulating the results by warming up the thermometer.
 And icy cold punch helped keep the guests cool all day, even though we were also sitting at the dining table and not in the fridge.
 And plastic ants, at my place the year before last. (I told you they were versatile!)
 An Ood, I think.