melty souls ::::
Recently, four-year-old Grub and I were in the car to run errands. He was in the backseat, studying one of the many trinkety toys and such that tend to accumulate in the car. There is a panoply of choice: forgotten Happy Meal limited editions making up the humus layer, random pieces of kid-friendly colorful paper (translation: pretty much just trash) making up the detritus, pennies creating a little shine, birthday goody bag cast-offs as toppers. Grub’s choice today was a cheap goody bag dreg.
“My toy is breaking,” he said sadly, “The horn is coming off, Momma.”
“Sorry, bud. Toys don’t last forever. Things don’t last forever.” I responded.
“Like us?” he asked.
“Yes, like us,” I answered. This answer was perhaps too quick, a millisecond of thought, my life experience biasing any response. And I considered this answer in context of his understanding of any existentialism or belief of afterlife or Heaven.
Just like these popsicles, if I may trivialize the state of our bodies when we die, we nor toys last forever. There is sweetness in life that dips beyond the body into our souls, and also the tang of regret, and the hard, cold knock against your teeth. There is a creamy softness of love and happiness. Basically, this popsicle explains it. And why not enjoy real life with a pip of refreshing cold, a metaphor for life. It’s germane to the entire conversation. We should enjoy the little sweet in the cold and puckering tart when we can. This is so often the case with kids.
Grub moved on to a new toy, that broken horn forgotten quickly. We ran our errand, buying a birthday gift for a friend, observing dogs taking walks, playing with (and teasing) sisters. We experienced the mundane, some smiles, disappointments, and love. And those popsicles were a great end to a busy day, melting in the heat of our smiles.
One year ago: broccoli-bacon salad
Three years ago: chawanmushi
Lemon-parsley popsicle flavor inspired by girl chef.
- 1⅔ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon orange oil essence (optional -- It's lovely to add but not necessary.)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 large lemons)
- pinch of salt
- A small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, about 3 ounces, approximately 60 g
- A small squirt of honey
- Mix sugar and milk together, dissolving the sugar. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice into the milk mixture and stir. Pour in the remaining lemon juice and the zest, orange essence, and salt, stir well, and allow to sit a few minutes to thicken. This is your buttermilk mixture.
- Taste it. Adjust sweetness if needed; it should be fairly sweet but still have a nice tang. I feel the ¾ cup sugar is perfect for me, without any additions.
- Pour about an inch of the lemon mixture into each Popsicle mold. Put in the freezer to harden while you do the next step.
- Rinse the grit from the parsley. Trim and remove any yellowed leaves and stems. Using a strong blender (oh, how I love my Vitamix!), purée the parsley with a bit of water and small squirt of honey. Strain if you desire, though I like the texture without straining. I did not as my Vitamix is so BADASS.
- Stir in a bit of the lemon buttermilk mixture into the parsley mixture, to thin it and sweeten it a bit.
- After about 30 minutes the lemon mixture in the freezer should be stiff enough on which to spoon a thin layer of the parsley mixture. Allow to freeze about 45 minutes. Continue to layer the lemon and parsley mixtures with freezing until each of the Popsicle molds are full. Freeze overnight.
- Using my Zoku Classic 6-well molds, I ended up with about ½ cup of leftover lemon mixture. I purposely make extra to accommodate other molds.**
** It depends on your molds, but if using the Zoku, you will have about ½ cup leftover lemon buttermilk after filling the molds. You have two options: drink it or freeze it. If you decide that you don't want to do the parsley stripes, you can leave that out and make entirely lemon buttermilk popsicles.