One kid's adventures in gastronomy

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It’s not too late to make popsicles!

I’d wanted to write about popsicles for some time, but Mama kept me pretty busy during the summer. Since I just finished the very last one, I thought better late than never. And you can still get good cantaloupes from your farmers’ market, so why not make a bunch of popsicles to enjoy on those Indian summer days that are still to come?

I’m sure you know how much I love frozen treats, whether they’re gelati or popsicles. I especially liked making these with Mama! She showed me how she cuts the cantaloupe, and then I put the pieces in the blender. Mama added the juice of a fat juicy lime and a bit of sweetened condensed milk (she thought this might make it more like a creamsicle). Then I covered my ears so she could whir it.

Jude on Food: You need a little bit of sugar in your popsicles to keep the melon from freezing solid.

We tasted it to see if it needed more S.C.M. (it did), and she whirred it some more.

Mama gave me a big slice of melon to munch on while I figured out these popsicle molds--they're from when Mama was a kid!

Mama gave me a big slice of melon to munch on while I figured out these popsicle molds. They’re from when Mama was a kid!

I helped pour the popsicle mixture into the molds. Mama had to take a few deep breaths, as I tended to miss the molds, but I did a pretty good job overall, she said.

It's amazing what a little kid can do when you take a deep breath and just let him.

It’s amazing what a little kid can do when you take a deep breath and just let him.

The hardest part was waiting for them to freeze…and then getting them out of the deep freezer, once Mama moved them from our kitchen freezer after I started helping myself.

Love, Jude

Cantaloupe Popsicles

1 lovely ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice of 1 lime (or 2, if you prefer)
1/2 small can sweetened condensed milk (more or less, to taste)

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set.


Popsicles, popsicles!

When I was in Italy, I had something I’d never eaten before: gelato. Mama and I had it every day (I think she had it twice a couple times, too, which she thinks I don’t know about). We ate gelato with pears and Nutella, gelato with basil and cantaloupe, gelato in cones, gelato in cups… I can’t even tell you all the kinds of gelato we had!

Look how well I can hold a cone of gelati.


But now that we’re home, and it’s awfully hot outside, Mama’s kept it simple and made me popsicles. They’re so easy, even I could do it…but then again, I’m pretty handy in the kitchen. The only part I needed help with was making the simple syrup (hot!) and cutting the honeydew (knife!). After that, we pureed it in the blender, Mama poured the mixture into the popsicle molds, and then she put them in the freezer. Waiting until they were frozen would have been the toughest part, if I hadn’t had to go to bed.

What I like about these popsicles is that I can bite them. They’re just a little bit crystally and not too hard. They’re sweet, but they mostly taste like the green melon. And I see that Mama snuck a little raspberry into each one that I have to munch may way down to. I also like that I can hold it by myself, which just means that I can offer it up to Mama (or Papa) for a taste. Just a taste, Mama.

See the raspberry Mama hid in my popsicle?

Love, Jude

Fruit Popsicles

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Fresh fruit (about 3 cups), cleaned & prepped

Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside and cool completely. (This is called simple syrup. You can adjust the sweetness as you prefer, but Mama likes the one-to-one ratio here. This makes a little under 1 cup.)

If you’re using a large fruit, like a honeydew or cantaloupe, peel, seed, and chop it into cubes. Smaller fruit, like berries, can be tossed in whole after being destemmed. If you’re using something like peaches, it’s really up to you if you want to peel them. Put the fruit into the blender and add the simple syrup. Puree until there are no more chunks of fruit, a minute or two. Again, if you want your popsicles less sweet, start with half the syrup, puree, then taste it. Mama says you need to have some sugar in it, though, otherwise the popsicles will freeze solid.

Pour the puree into popsicle molds—but don’t fill them all the way. If you want, drop a tiny berry in at the bottom—it looks pretty, and it’s fun to get to! Seal up the pops and freeze until set, a few hours. We got exactly 18 pops from this mixture, and I’m working my way through them.