Monday, April 30, 2012

Pops-Giggles


Or What I Learned Making My Own Icy Treats
By Jen Russon
Guest writer

My house sits on a canal, and my kids and I like to sit at the water’s edge and watch the sunset, while licking cherry, grape or orange ice blobs on sticks. Since popsicles are so simple, I got it in my head that I should try and make my own –besides that, I was tired of how much they cost at the store.  Frozen fruit water is expensive!

But you know what? So are popsicle-making kits. I priced them at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. I even opened up a thread of dialogue on my Facebook page, when a friend shared a photo of the kit she just bought. I ultimately decided $30 was just too much—it was time to roll up my sleeves and make popsicles just another D-I-Y project.

My inspiration (yes, I’m old) was a Time For Timer commercial. Remember the “Hanker for a Hunk of Cheese” cartoon?  That 1980s bit reminded me that you can make popsicles with orange juice and a few toothpicks. Click the link if you want to go back in time! I used the same principal with my kids’ help. We bypassed the pricey Target popsicle kit, and picked up an ice cube tray for $2 instead. Because I couldn’t find the toothpicks (after going up and down every aisle 3 times), I settled on bendy straws instead, that I could poke through the Saran wrap just before the freezing process. 

My very own Pop-giggles were about to be born. In this unseasonably hot Spring, I could already taste them.

For the juice: I used OJ, V-8 splash infused with a teaspoon of Boysenberry syrup, and freshly squeezed Meyer lemons with a touch of fresh mint. My kids kept throwing out suggestions and I listened to every one of them!

An Alternative Use for the Cubes

A cool idea I had—to benefit from leftover pops-giggles—was adding the lemon/mint ones to a chicken stir fry. It melted right in the pan and made everything sweeter and tangier. I got the idea from an LA times article on 100 things to do with Meyer lemons—read it if you’re curious about this orange/lemon hybrid imported from China a century ago.

Here are the directions to make Pops-giggles

1.      Find a clean ice cube tray
2.      Fill each hole in the tray with the juice of your choice, albeit freshly squeezed or grated from a piece of fruit or straight from the bottle.
3.      Add an herb, like mint leaves or clipped pieces of rosemary. Experiment by adding teaspoons of syrup or vanilla extract to each cube.
4.      Cover the ice cube tray with saran wrap and poke a straw or toothpick in (if you want a pops-giggle you can actually hold onto and lick).
5.      It’s perfectly normal to resign yourself to simply having colorful, cool looking ice cubes as the end product—they make for a great conversation piece at your next summer party.

Have fun with it…and please don’t judge me if you find out I bought the $30 kit ; )!!

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