Summer in March

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I am not very happy about this already summer weather because I believe it to be man-made, but it sure has brought the farm to life.  So much is happening and I think it can be best summed up by photos.  Peaches are blooming, asparagus is starting to come, the high tunnel looks and feels like late May, and planting is well underway.  All these pictures were taken yesterday evening.  We grilled local pastured chicken on the grill, dined al fresco, Lily and Paco enjoyed their first popsicle of the season on the porch (raspberry hibiscus), and ,while they played basketball, I did the chores and walked the farm taking pictures.  As I came back up toward the house, I was overwhelmed with the joy of it all.  There is nowhere on the planet I would rather be.

Hibiscus and Raspberry Paletas

I have been busy making summer time treats for my allergic daughter.  I just bought a new book called Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas by Fany Gerson.  Paleta means popsicle in Spanish.  In Mexico, paletas are an art form and put our food dye and HFCS popsicles to shame.  Made with whole fruits in interesting combinations, they are worth the effort.  I can control the inputs–using my own freezer stash of home-grown fruit and making sure they are 100% allergen free.  The fist recipe I tried used raspberries and agua de jamaica.  Jamaica is the Spanish word for hibiscus.  Dried hibiscus flowers are used in Mexico to make a very popular drink.  It has a beautiful red jewel hue—exactly the color of cranberry juice and tastes wonderful.

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I loaded the mold about halfway full with sugar macerated raspberries and topped them off with fresh hibiscus water.  So lovely.  We haven’t tried them yet–that will be our after dinner treat today.

Paco and Lily have a long-standing tradition of having popsicles together after dinner in the summer.  It is their time to chat and catch up.

If you are not already intrigued, how about a few more combinations from this super-cool book:

Caramel Ice pop

Apricot-Chamomile Ice Pop

Watermelon Ice Pops

Sour Cream, Cherry, and Tequila Ice Pops

The book also includes sections on Raspados (Shaved Ice) and Aguas Frescas (coolers or drinks) in combinations such as Spicy Mango Ice and Cucumber-Lime Cooler