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June 19, 2020

June dandelions are blanketing my lawn!

Their return is a reminder that nature is constantly at work. The trees have again donned their leafy cloaks and even the bushes seem to shimmer with happiness. Implacable Mother Nature, always true to herself, provides us with warmth and beauty.

My granddaughter, who is enjoying an early vacation, asked me for some chocolate popsicles. She knows that I love making them for her. It’s my summer specialty, which even adults can’t pass up. 

My daughter and I are organizing the delivery of a cooler containing the popsicles, along with some delicious spanakopita, grape leaves, baklava or servings of moussaka. Each time, one of us adds home-cooked specialties that are popular with everyone in the family. It’s how we’ve all learned to treat others: by sharing some chicken butter, a shepherd’s pie, a new jam or one of the Greek specialties in the priceless family recipe collection that has been passed down through my children’s father.

Our lives have been overturned these past few months. Summer’s gentle arrival has slowly soothed our worries and strengthened our hopes. I realize now I’ve learned to embrace a certain tranquility, which has been so fruitful for my creative outpourings. Each day, I find myself beautifying my home, sometimes with wild greenery, sometimes with primrose and other times with new plant cuttings from the solarium. I am learning that it is possible to rebuild a life that is calmer, more meaningful, more rewarding. These last few months we have all been forced off the race track, to really slow down and reflect on how best to use our time and resources.

But you know all of this already.

What you may not know is that there are a thousand and one recipes for popsicles. And that the easiest version in the world is also the one my 8-year-old granddaughter prefers.

Here are the ingredients you need, which can easily be found in any kitchen.

To make chocolate popsicles:

- Whip together a packet of Jell-O chocolate pudding with 2 cups of milk. In another bowl, whip 1 cup of 35% cream and add to the chocolate pudding, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Using a large spoon, fill the popsicle moulds with the chocolate mixture, and place in the freezer.

To remove from the mould, run under hot water until the popsicle loosens just enough for you to pull it out. 

As my granddaughter says, even the adults will want to have some.

For fruit popsicles:

- In a mixer, purée some very ripe bananas and 2 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries.

- Fill moulds with the mixture and place in freezer.

Refreshing and tasty, these colourful lactose-free treats are easy to make and a delicious way to feed your kids good fruit.

You can also make the extra effort and explore all the myriad variations possible, from traditional flavours, such as Mademoiselle Nini’s healthy fruit fudge, to those that pop with an unexpected flavour, such as blueberry or coconut. The aim is to treat your family without having to run to the corner store each time.

Have fun experimenting, and above all, enjoy!

I hope too that you are able to savour the simple pleasures of life, such as taking daily walks, reading a page-turning romance, trying new recipes, firing up the grill, speaking to neighbours, weaving a crown of flowers, knitting in the shade to the gentle rhythm of your rocking chair, growing fine herbs on the balcony, hunting for 4-leaf clovers, beginning your bucket list or simply listening to the birds’ flirtatious songs.



Pssst: Thank you 1,000x for being there with me and for being such loyal readers throughout these months.