A Centerpiece for a Norwegian Patio Party in May
When the sun shines upon Norway's cities and countryside, their residents tend to spend as much time as possible outside. They don't let a little chill spoil their fun. So, when we visited Hanne and Vidar, friends who live in the hills overlooking the Oslo Fjord, and the weather forecast was great, we knew there would be at least one party on the patio.
When we arrived, Hanne told me that she had made space in her deep freeze to make some ice lanterns for the party and would love for me to help. "Absolutely!" was of course my reply.
We only had a day to make them so they were rather thin, but that gave me the opportunity to show Hanne how to "thermal shock" a globe to give it an interesting new look.
We brought one of the globe ice lanterns up to her kitchen sink straight out of the deep freeze, so it was good and cold. Then I showed her how to run warm water over the inside of the lantern so the cracking that would occur would run throughout the ice. (I had brought a pair of our "Smurfy Blue" gloves as a hostess gift, and I can assure you that they came in very handy as we held that ice globe over the sink.) The process was quite dramatic as the water hit the ice and we waited, 1 . . 2 . . 3 . . CRACK! She let out a little shriek, but was thrilled to see that it did not fall apart. Then when a lit candle flame was put inside, each of those cracks made the light dance!
We made two ice lanterns; one for a container filled with flowers and the other was planned for a centerpiece. To create a drip tray system for the centerpiece Hanne wanted to use a large red porcelain salad bowl. The rest of this how-to sounds a little like the old lady who swallowed a fly, but here goes: Into the salad bowl she put a smaller bowl. On top of the small bowl, she put a flat plate. On top of the plate was the candle and then the globe ice lantern with a small hole drilled in the top. A match was placed under one edge of the ice lantern to let in some air to feed the flame and a long string of ivy from the garden was laid around the edge of the lantern to soften the look.
With both globe ice lanterns beautifully displayed all that was left to do was toast the night away with good friends amidst glowing orbs, twinkling patio lights and the mystery of the city in the distance.
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