Fire and Ice
Ice luminaries are wonderful to include in your Yule celebration, but they are good for as long as it’s cold. And when it’s cold enough outside, I plan to make these by the dozens in the garage.
I start by choosing a large container and a smaller container. They can be bowls, storage containers, pails and milk containers. If they are glass, be extremely careful. The expansion of the water as it freezes could break a container, so the trick is to get it out at just the right time. You can also buy molds especially for this.
Directions often call for distilled water, or water that has been boiled. Both make for ice that is clearer. Water can be tinted with food coloring or Kool-Aid.
To make the ones in the photograph, I put a bit of water in the bottom of the larger container and let it freeze until firm. Then I placed the smaller container in the middle, arranged seasonal items between the two and poured in a bit more water. It went back in the freezer until almost completely frozen. I removed it again and filled the remainder of the container and let it freeze, but not to the point of being frozen solid.
To remove the ice luminary from its container, let it sit at room temperature for a short while, or run a bit of warm water over the outside of the container and in center area. There is no need to boil water.
Return the ice blocks to the freezer until ready to use. I insert tea lights, but have been thinking about removing the candle from the metal cup before lighting it.