and  Red and pink layered ice cubes (photo courtesy Ocean Spray).  Add some pomegranate ice cubes (here’s how from Kelly Elko). Flower ice cubes: small flowers make a big impression (here’s how from Martha Stewart).  More ways to use an ice cube tray: save pesto (photo courtesy P&G Every Day) or  lemon juice (photo courtesy Food Network).
These days, many people enjoy refrigerator-freezers with built-in ice makers.
But here’s a reason to hold on to those old-fashioned ice cube trays. In addition to party ice cubes, you can also use them to make granita—and much more, as you’ll see on the list below.
Because we’re days away from Valentine celebrations, how about some special ice? You can’t get these from a mechanical ice-cube maker!
RECIPE: LAYERED VALENTINE ICE CUBES
Ingredients Per Ice Cube Tray
1. PLACE 4 blueberries in each of 16 ice cube cups. Add about 1 teaspoon blueberry flavored juice. Freeze at least 1 hour or until solid.
2. ADD 1/2 tablespoon white cranberry drink to each cup, atop the frozen blueberry layer. Freeze 1 hour of until solid.
3. TOP with 1/2 tablespoon cranberry beverage. Freeze at least 1 hour or until solid.
Don’t have time or desire to layer ice cubes? These are much easier:
Certain foods are easier to pop out if you have silicone ice cube trays; others work better with a lever pull in an old-fashioned metal tray.
Once whatever you’re making is frozen, you can transfer the cubes to a freezer bag for storage. Here are some ideas to try.
For the first two: Once your cubes are frozen, pop them from the tray into a resealable freezer bag. For precise measures, determine in advance what the tray compartments hold.
There are household uses, from homemade detergent cubes to starting seedlings. Just look online!
HISTORY OF THE ICE CUBE TRAY
Before the advent of the ice cube tray, ice for drinks and similar purposes was chipped from large blocks with an ice pick.
Some historians believed that Dr. Gorrie also invented the first ice cube tray in its current form. He is known to have given his patients iced drinks to cool them down.
You may have noted that commercially-made ice cubes are completely clear, while homemade cubes from the fridge are cloudy in the center.
 The old-fashioned metal ice cube tray with a removable divider (photo courtesy West Elm).  Silicone trays make it easy to pop out the cubes.
Cloudy ice cubes result when the water is high in dissolved solids. Commercial ice-makers use purified water, with cooling elements on the bottom. The cooling process allows any bubbles to be washed away from the top as the cubes grow larger.