An ageless summer treat turns 100 years old, and comes in nearly as many shapes, sizes and flavors.
Like so many brilliant inventions, it happened by accident in 1905. And through a century of change, it remains a consistent American icon, stick and all. Food essayist Bonny Wolf salutes the popsicle, one of America's favorite summertime treats.
Kathryn, a kindergarten teacher, makes popsicles with her classes using paper cups and popsicle sticks. She uses grape juice, cherry juice, lemonade, and orange juice — anything with color. She says kids don't like cranberry juice. She offers these suggestions:
Freeze a layer of fruit-flavored yogurt, and then freeze a layer of juice, then a layer of yogurt, etc. so the ice pop has stripes.
Freeze layers of different colored fruit juices for rainbow pops. This is also a good color lesson, she says, because the colors bleed into each other and make a secondary color.
Specialty stores sell popsicle molds in a variety of shapes (sailboats, for example.)
If there's a little jam or jelly at the bottom of the jar, mix in some hot water, shake well, pour into molds and freeze.
Mix applesauce with a little brown sugar, pour into molds and freeze.
Stick a toothpick in sliced bananas, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes and freeze.
Put a peeled banana on a popsicle stick, dip in chocolate syrup or melted chocolate chips and roll in finely chopped nuts. Freeze.
Spoon vanilla ice cream into molds and fill in with root beer. Insert stick. Freeze.
Just use your imagination. Anything that can freeze to a stick can be a popsicle.