There’s only so much jam you can make. Sometimes, you just need to start eating those 16 or 17 pounds of strawberries you picked. And maybe you need to enlist the kids, too. Enter the world’s simplest way to do that: popsicles.
I, of course, can’t just let strawberries be strawberries. Besides, Cherub loves too much to graze through the herbs in the garden, and she’s going to be eating the bulk of these paletas anyway.
For this first batch, I made a quick mix of strawberries and sugar, boiled it for five minutes and then just ever so slightly pulsed them in a blender for a half a second. Then I added in a finely chopped bit of fresh lemon balm (but what’s your favorite? mint? lavender? coriander?), poured into molds and froze.
Voila! The world’s most refreshing snack. And a great breakfast if you’re feeling generous. And it’s especially hot.
Paletas de Fresa y Melisa (Strawberry and Lemon Balm Popsicles), inspired by the post at The Parsley Thief.
1 qt strawberries, tops removed and quartered
3/4 c sugar
Zest from 1 lemon, juice from half
1 T finely chopped fresh lemon balm (which grows like a weed in my backyard and natch! has calming and stress reducing properties)
In a medium pan add in the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and allow to macerate for about a half an hour. Add a half a cup of water to the pan and bring all to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Allow to cool. Add to a blender along with the lemon juice and chopped lemon balm. Blend for just a quick moment, depending on how chunky you want the berries to be. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Playlist included Hold On, by Alabama Shakes. “Must be somebody up above sayin’, ‘Come on girl! You got to get back up.'”