By Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam
Remember when you used to sit on your front steps on a hot summer day eating a popsicle? It was usually red or purple and on special occasions you got a fudgesicle. Remember how you tried to lick the drips faster than the sun could melt them? Sometimes the drips would roll down your fingers, forcing you to make the mind numbing decision whether to lick your fingers or the new drips forming on your popsicle.
Every once in a while a few drips would get out of control and fall on your bare toes. Remember how your dog’s tongue felt like sandpaper when he licked the sweet gooeyness off of them?
It’s funny how we try to make drama and expensive memories for our children when it’s the simple everyday things we remember the most.
Try some of these ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer:
To find popsicle molds, look at discount and mail order stores or garage sales. If you don’t have any molds, use small paper or plastic cups. Put a wooden stick or plastic spoon in the center.
For mini popsicles, pour orange, apple or grape juice or flavored drink mix into ice cube trays. Partially freeze and then place toothpicks in the center of each cube (or place plastic wrap over the top, secure and insert toothpicks through plastic wrap).
Making your own popsicles can give great variety and keep your kids cool this summer!
For non-traditional popsicles:
* Freeze applesauce in popsicle molds.
* Mix fruit or jam into yogurt. Freeze in small, snack sized Ziploc bags for frozen yogurt on the go. Cut a hole in the end of the bag for easy access/eating.
* Mix gelatin and freeze. Add gummie fish or worms before freezing for added fun.
* Freeze syrup from canned fruit.
* Add food coloring or sprinkles to yogurt or softened ice cream for added pizzazz. Then freeze in popsicle molds.
* When you have leftover jam or jelly, put ¼ cup of hot water in the jar and shake well. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
* If jelly or jam doesn’t set up well, use for popsicles or add more water, boil and make syrup.
* Make a batch of pudding. Add coconut, nuts, marshmallows, crushed cookies or sprinkles if desired. Pour into molds. Freeze several hours until firm.
* Stick a toothpick in the center of blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or sliced bananas.Dip in chocolate if desired. Freeze on a tray. Once frozen, store in freezer bags.
* For easy snow cones, freeze orange juice (or any other flavored juice) in ice cube trays. Store frozen juice cubes in a plastic bag. Blend 5 cubes in the blender until they have a shaved ice consistency. The shaved ice will keep its consistency if kept frozen in a container.
* For watermelon popsicles, blend one cup each watermelon chunks (seeds removed), orange juice and water. Blend well. Then pour and freeze into molds.
* For strawberry popsicles, blend 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup vanilla ice cream or yogurt, 4 cups orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Blend smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.
* For banana popsicles, dissolve one 3 oz. package strawberry gelatin with one cup boiling water. In a blender, mix gelatin, 1 banana and 1 cup yogurt or ice cream. Blend well and pour into molds.
1 pkg. pudding (not instant*)
3 cups milk
Combine 1 large package of pudding with 3 cups of milk. Mix only enough to blend well. Quickly pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Chocolate and vanilla pudding may be layered for a fun treat. Makes 8-10 popsicles.
*Regular homemade pudding may be used instead of store-bought pudding mix.