New York has changed me in ways that I could not have imagined. I now say â€œawesomeâ€ a lot more than I used to (never, in fact) and I have on more than one occasion said â€œsuper awesome!â€ without irony. I â€œtakeâ€ my showers. I donâ€™t â€œhaveâ€ themÂ dammit, I take them, I show them whoâ€™s boss. I enjoy pretzels, and peanut butter. I squirt my own liquid butter on my popcorn at the movies without thinking about how gross that is.
But some things do not change. I still say instinctively say â€œrubbishâ€ for â€œtrashâ€, I never hear an American talk about â€œpantsâ€ without snickering a bit inside, and I have a rich vocabulary of swear words that is the envy of my American friends. I care a lot about tea, and Iâ€™m just going to call it as I see it; American cookies are a Huge let down. Huge. Just look at this Penguin Bar, this Hobnob, this Wagon Wheel, and tell me Iâ€™m not right.
If you straddle two cultures as I do, living in the US, but being from the UK, itâ€™s helpful that red white and blue food items can do double duty and stand patriotically for both.
Itâ€™s a hot and steamy Memorial Day long weekend here in NYC, and the start of Jubilee week and a heat wave in the UK. Could there be a better time for red white and blue ice pops?
Iâ€™ve written before about easy ways to make red white and blue ice pops â€“ frankly, the easiest way is to buy smoothies and use those. These are a little more gourmet â€“ the kind of ice pops you can serve to your friends on a hot day at the end of a BBQ and feel very cool about yourself.
To make a layered pop you pour the mould one third full with mixture, freeze for 2 hours until set, then pour in the next color, and so on. Itâ€™s best to start these the day before you want to serve them so they can really set up together.
Last summer I bought a popsicle mold set. Until then I had been using plastic water cups and wooden sticks. It’s a style thing. Whatever you prefer.
Raspberry Mint PopsÂ¼ cup sugar Â½ cup water 1 large bunch of mint leaves 2 cups raspberries 2 tbsp lemon juice Â
- Put the sugar and water in a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the mint leaves and cool, then strain to make mint simple syrup
- Blend the raspberries with the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of mint simple syrup â€“ taste and see if the mixture is sweet enough â€“ you may need to add some more syrup depending on the sweetness of the berries. If the mixture is really stiff add a tbsp of water
- Pour into the molds. Freeze for 2 â€“ 3 hours until set
Elderflower Ice Pops1 cup sparkling water (I love the citrus lemon San Pelligrino) 1/4 â€“ 1/3 cup elderflower cordial Â
- Mix the water and cordial together and taste – the bottles I buy in Waitrose are less strong than the bottles I buy in Ikea, so do this to taste â€“ you want a strong elderflower flavor
- Freeze in ice pop molds for 2 â€“ 3 hours until set
If youâ€™re making this is a layer, leave it plain, but if youâ€™re making straight up elderflower ice pops, consider adding a few blueberries and pouring the mixture half way up the mould, freezing, then adding raspberries and another layer of elderflower and freezing again.
Blueberry Thyme Ice Pops2 cups blueberries Â¼ cup sugar Â½ cup water 5 sprigs of fresh thyme Â
- Pour the sugar and water in to a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the thyme springs and cool to make thyme simple syrup
- Blend the blueberries until smooth (you might need to ass a tbsp of water). Add 1 â€“ 2 tbsp of syrup to taste
- Pour into molds and freeze for 2 â€“ 3 hours until set
If You Can Make That You Can Make ThisÂ
- Make sorbet by freezing each mixture in tupperwear for an hour, blitzing in a processor, freezing for another hour, blitzing again, then leaving to set for 2 – 3 hours
- Add a splash of rum in with the raspberries, a splash of gin with the elderflowers and a splash of lemon vodka with the blueberries
- Or blend the sorbet with a splash of booze and water to turn into a frozen drink
- Try these red white and blue Popsicles
- Or this summer-y Arnold Palmer Ice Pop