Silver Linings

An ice lolly was the only consolation for yet another brutally boring, insipid day at school. I was definitely an outcast, a bit weird (ok, a lot!), sharp tongued and moody. Don’t think I contributed much to improve my dearth of popularity, if truth be told. I befuddled my classmates, even my teachers and my only educational bright spot, was that the English Lit teachers always liked me. However, it was the thought of cold, fruity ice lollies at the end of the school day, that made the drone of endless hours just about bearable. It’s about silver linings; you take them where you find them.He didn’t say much, the ancient, sunbaked Indian Ice Cream Man. His formidable face didn’t turn to look at you either when you squeaked out your order. He’d just reach into his massive, battered coolbox and hand over your flavoured popsicle and silently take your money. A thankyou, tentatively voiced, was acknowledged by a grunt. I fairness, I would be terminally disillusioned if my livelihood consisted of riding a rusty, heavy Indian bicycle with a heaving box attached to it, in relentless 40 deg weather. To sell ice lollies. Sometimes there is no justice to be had.

Such thoughts never entered my mind of course, at the time. I was grateful he was there. Dad was always late picking us up and this was a pleasant way to pass the time, boiling in the heat, leaning against a hot concrete wall that was stingy with its shade. My sister and I would watch the roads for a sign of dad’s car and eventually it emerged out of the mirages dancing far in front of us.

Making ice lollies is child’s play. And it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with the kids, keep their hands and minds busy, away from trouble. I love the kit I use and already have a few more planned. The Lakeland Faces lolly set, have my children in fits of giggles and I’ll admit I join them too!

Any fruit (fresh or frozen), can be jazzed up or the pulp/juice left as is and savoured in its frozen form. Here I used Alphonso mangoes whizzed to a puree with some lime juice, grapefruit on its own (mint is lovely added to it), sweetened with sugar and fresh orange juice with a light backnote of star anise (I made a sugar syrup with a star anise floating in it…you don’t need much, as it’s quite potent. I then mixed the syrup into the juice).

Other options are berries, with or without yoghurt rippled through it, peaches and raspberries, or my kids favourite, blackberries, now with the latest addition of maple syrup in the mix. Consider too, lemon and ginger, mango and coconut, strawberry and passionfruit, whatever takes you fancy, or what you can reach out for from your fruit bowl. Just go by taste, adding a touch more sugar than is perfect as the freezing reduces the impact of the sugar. You can sieve your juice/pulp if you like, but I tend to leave the fibre in there. If nothing else, it makes for a very pretty ombre effect on freezing, as the ‘bits’ and liquid separate, as in the case of the grapefruit lolly.

I do often think about that Ice-Cream Man. My kids will never know of such a cheap and cheerful pleasure, as Health and Safety has put paid to such treats. Maybe that’s for the best. However, the memory of my school years would be mournful, if ice lollies were not a part of it. And for that and for him, I am thankful.


38 thoughts on “Silver Linings

  1. baker in disguise

    You forgot about the part where after the lolly .. your lips turn turn the colour of the lolly.. in my case it was orange!! 🙂 i can;t take my eyes off those ‘eyes’!!! i want!!!

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Orange was my favourite too! However, you don’t seem to get that vivid neon lip/tongue colour with homemade..guess that’s because there isn’t any colouring added to them 😉 I adore that set..always have a giggle with them…small pleasures;-)

  2. eat, little bird

    This takes me right back to my childhood! We called them “ice blocks” and gosh they were necessary if you were growing up in Queensland, Australia! I love the idea of making them at home. Wonder if I could justify buying a kit if we don’t have kids?? LOL! 😉

  3. melanie

    I don’t know which I loved more the article or the pictures. But I was back there while I read this article. The pictures convey everything the article gives off…nice touch was the blue background…hands down this is the article I love the best.

    1. The Patterned Plate

      It’s amazing how much they can put away, food wise! You are right though, its a great project to do with the kids, but you will get the inevitable, ” Is it ready yeeeeetttt??” ….grrrr

  4. Rushi!

    Another trip down memory lane thanks to Carrie’s wonderful post. I remember those ice lollies, we’d sometimes call them popsicals. One time we used this fizzy purple drink to make ’em and our have purple lips and tongues 🙂 Using fresh and seasonal fruit is so much better & healthier. I love the citrussy ones. Ahhh such fun! 😉

  5. njmt32

    I love the sound of the mango and coconut ones 🙂 I haven’t made proper, home made ice lollies in the longest time. You can’t beat them!

  6. jobakes

    Aw Carrie love, I share sympathy with you over not being the most popular girl in school but at least I was geeky enough to love the learning bit enough to never be bored ;). Lollies aren’t really my thing but I’d bite your arm off for a Solero. That being said, the joy these cheeky wee lollies bring do tempt me to buying them and giving homemade a go (I’ve never tried to make my own!) plus it gives a nod and wink to my days as an ice cream van driver 😉

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Being bored depended on the teacher. If she (always a she, a Catholic school) was good and interactive, I did really well in her class, but the next year, the same subject taught by some insipid woman and I would barely scrape through! But I lived 😀 To make popsicles! Not a bad thing at all :-))

  7. betsysmum

    Carrie these are perfect! this is just what I have been looking for and my kids will love them! now all I need is a bit of sunshine!
    Thanks for sharing, Sara x

  8. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise

    You are right, it is sad that our children miss out on a lot of the simple pleasures we enjoyed as kids.
    I bought a popsicle mold late fall last year and never got around to using it, it is time to get it into action

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Ooooh Sarvani, that sounds delish!! I do what I call a Watermelon Crust and I have a post on that. Chunks of crushed watermelon, with sugar, lime and mint will see you cooled and refreshed on a hot day! Thankyou for posting back :-))

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Oh mangos are my favourite fruit…add some coconut milk, mix and freeze in lolly moulds, or churn and make a proper ice cream as per a recent post on here. You won’t regret it!

      1. storybookapothecary

        I agree! Its so artsy looking, like you tried harder than you really did. It’s how I appear to be impressive without..actually being impressive! And yes, kids are always weird about bits and things. So picky! haha. My nephew and little brother are just the same!

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