DONNA'S DAY: Bundt pans give form to winter ice lanterns

Welcome guests to your home with a creative, icy greeting on a dark winter's night.

Ice is nice! Especially when you create a warm welcome to your home with a creative, icy greeting on a dark winter's night. From popular snowball-size ice candles to large blocks, they all sparkle and glow to line a pathway to your front door.

Easy for me to say, I know, since I live in snow-covered Minnesota, where it's usually below freezing all winter long. But I proved that I could light the night and create an ice luminary in a moderate climate when I invited friends to our California cabin recently. Two days before the party, I rooted through cupboards in search of a Bundt pan. I then filled the mold with water and let it freeze in our freezer.

Before friends arrived the next evening, I popped the beautifully shaped "ice lantern" out of the mold, set it on a rimmed tray (to catch melting ice) and placed it on the front porch step with a lighted votive in the inside cavity. Once guests arrived, oohing and ahhing with "How did you make that?" queries, I brought it inside for a magical buffet centerpiece. Although it was partially melted by evening's end, another luminary was prepping in the freezer for another night.

If you have a Bundt pan hiding in your cupboards, bring it out and make ice lanterns with your kids. The price is right with this enjoyable craft — your only cost is water and candles! Here's how:

BUNDT PAN ICE LANTERN

Here's the stuff you need:

• one metal Bundt pan (plastic pans may crack)

• water

• votive or small pillar candle

• citrus slices, floral greens and sticks, etc. (optional)

• food coloring (optional)

Fill the pan with water to within an inch of the rim. Wedge in floral objects between the sides of the pan, if you wish. Small objects, such as plastic fish, add whimsy. Or, add a drop of food coloring.

Place pan in the freezer or outside if it is below freezing.

When frozen, turn upside-down in a sink. Let it thaw a bit, and slowly lift pan. Or, run water over pan to release.

Set a candle inside. At sunset, an adult can light the candle.

Note: An adult should always be present when burning candles.

Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."  (c) 2020 Donna Erickson  Distributed by King Features Synd.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.