Popsicles, Letter from the Publisher
The burning concrete sidewalk under my dirty bare feet. The damp, lifeless bangs plastered to my forehead. The white curl of peeling skin on my freckled nose. The itching welt of a mosquito bite on my left calf. Those were the badges of my childhood summers.
But these minor inconveniences were quickly forgotten when compared to summer’s treats: warm raspberries stolen from thorny bushes, sweet neon-orange Kool-Aid and melting ice cubes in Dixie cups, bushel baskets of silky unhusked corn awaiting a butter and salt bath, and icy treats on a stick that were sure to cause brain freeze.
No, make that very sticky icy treats on sticks, that you had to gobble quickly while leaning over in a race with the sun as the bright sugary drops spattered the sidewalk at your feet.
Our usual popsicles were homemade by our frugal mother, who concocted the icy pops with Kool-Aid and those little plastic molds. But the best popsicles came from a guy who would troll the neighborhood on a bike with a big freezer on the front ringing a bicycle bell. He’d open the lid and a blast of cool air would engulf us as we strained on tiptoe to make our selections. If it was a special occasion, we might even have an extra nickel to splurge on a Dreamsicle or, even better, a Fudgesicle!
These days, the Kool-Aid versions of my youth have been replaced by more “grown up” treats. I sometimes make my own homemade popsicles, but they’re more likely to be “poptails” (popsicle cocktails) with herbs and booze ready for a party (my favorite recipes are from the EndlessSimmer.com website). I’m also a big fan of the fruity Mexican paletas on our cover and the sophisticated flavors of the farmers’ market ice pop vendors.
We may grow up, our tastes might change, but the simple pleasures of summer continue. It’s still a treat to unwrap an icy pop, lean over and savor every bite.