Three siblings, the oldest not being over twelve, live across the street from me. I know their names by heart because I frequently hear their mom or dad yelling at them from the stoop. “I’m counting to three, and you guys had better be ready!” Dad yells every morning. “Stop pushing your little sister and hurry up!” is Mom’s constant refrain in the evenings. I can’t really imagine their life beyond these snapshots, so in my mind, they’re in a constant state of being scolded.
Life’s tough for a kid, you know? The fetters of childhood, with its enforced bedtimes, endless rules, constant nagging, can really wear away at a person after awhile. My mom excelled at telling my sister and me what to do, and we’d wear her rules like chain mail (protective but heavy as hell). I especially remember wishing I could eat sweets whenever I wanted. I wished it fiercely actually. But chocolate bars were pretty much out of the question except around Halloween and Valentine’s Day, cake was sequestered to birthdays, and ice cream was a summer afternoon activity only.
Then I went away to college, where I spent a majority of my first year’s meal points on the junkiest food I could get my hands on. Freshman Fifteen is not a myth people. I got a little tubby. I went home that summer and walked it all off, vowing to myself that I’d never practice such hedonism ever again. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way.
Now that I’m a mature adult, I’ve finally got a handle on my mom’s perspective. Kids should not be able to do whatever they want. Rules are there for a reason. Imagine if the kids across the street had no parents to stop them from being late for school or bullying their little sister! Imagine if I’d allowed my sweet tooth to run rampant! It’s a funny thing when your thinking switches gears and you start weighing consequences and repercussions, practicing moderation.
I’m pretty sure I would’ve loved these popsicles as a kid, but the beauty of them is that they’re made almost completely from real fruit. What kind of treat works out so perfectly like that? They’re able to be enjoyed guilt-free by both children and adults like.
I have to confess, I didn’t think much of sour cherries when I first saw them. They’re soft and small, the runt of the cherry family. And their color, averaging around fire engine red, screams under-ripe. In short, they go against my every intuition as a cook and as an eater. But temper them with a bit of sugar, and the flavor pops. It’s distinctively cherry, but with undertones of warm spices. I can see why they’re beloved by pie- and jam-makers alike.
Be warned though: sour cherries live the shortest of lives. They blink in and out of existence in a matter of weeks. Our season’s over already, but perhaps you can still find them in your markets? If not, save this recipe for next year because it’s incredibly easy and indulgent. In a good way.
I wanted to end this post with a bit of a catch-up, as it’s just now hitting me how long it’s been since my last post. This summer has whizzed by in its customary manner, hasn’t it?
I guess the biggest announcement I should make—although it’s terribly overdue—is that my blog turned two! In June! I’m horrible at this sentimental stuff, but suffice it to say, this sweet little space means so very much to me. It’s taken on a life of its own, and in the process, exposed me to the whole exhilarating world of food blogging. Thank you for hanging in there, dear readers!
Likewise, the opportunities that have come my way have been kind of mind-boggling. The most recent is just a little too much: I shot my first cookbook! And not my own! It’ll come out next spring, a book all about healthy (and delicious!) smoothies. I don’t want to say too much about it, but thank you to those who made it possible! My heart overflows with appreciation.
And finally, the people I’ve met! This summer has consisted of a string of blogger meetings (good food always the backdrop). And the people behind some of my favorite blogs are just as wonderful as I imagined, which I already knew in my heart to be true, because how could you not share your very essence when pouring all your patience and love into a task as all-consuming as blogging? I can now call them real-life friends. Thank you, lovely people you! I hope I get the chance to meet many more of you in the future (Brianne, I’m lookin’ at you especially)!
SOUR CHERRY POPSICLES
Makes 8 1/3-cup size popsicles
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups pitted sour cherries (a little over a pound of whole cherries)
Make a simple syrup by cooking the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves, stirring a few times. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
Process the cherries in a food processor or with an immersion blender until completely blended. You should have about 2 cups of blended cherries. Stir in the cooled simple syrup. Pour the mix into popsicle molds (I use this guy) and slip the popsicles into the freezer until frozen, about 4 hours.
To remove, let the mold rest on the counter for a few minutes. Alternatively, run the mold under lukewarm water for about 20 seconds. They should slip out with a tug.