You all may feel like summer is on it’s way out the door, but the farm would beg to differ. It is under the impression that summer is just getting good. Out in the fields, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon and sweet corn are ripe for the picking. The sweet, sweet fruits of summertime are producing like crazy and don’t try telling the farm that September is right around the corner because it is far too busy enjoying that summertime sun to pay any attention to you. In fact, don’t try telling us either, because we haven’t done near enough summer things for it to be only three weeks from Labor Day.
When August arrives, there are really only two things for a vegetable farmer to do:
- Harvest and eat tomatoes on a daily basis.
- Freak out that you somehow missed all the summery things that all the normal people were filling their days with because you were busy growing three acres of vegetables and hosting events and teaching workshops and running a business so brainstorm a couple quick, fun summer activities that can be easily squeezed into an already crazy schedule so it doesn’t feel like you totally missed out.
The first task is easy. And also essential as tomatoes make up a ridiculous portion of our annual sales. The second task can take a bit more creativity but is also quite essential. The most important lesson I’ve learned in the last three years of running a business is that there will always be more to do. Always. And you can either let the farm eat you alive or you can say no, I’m done for today and take some time off to do the things your soul needs to do.
Like making freezie pops. In summertime, my soul just needs to do things like make freezie pops.
I received these Zipzicle freezie pop pouches as a present many months ago. The learning curve with making homemade freezie pops seemed daunting so I pushed them to the back of a drawer somewhere at our old house. They were re-revealed to me during an unpack a few weeks ago and I just knew. I knew I needed to leave the farm early on a Sunday, invite over my little cousin J and whip up some homemade freezie pops. There also happened to be a whole lot of blueberry mojitos consumed on that particular evening and let me just say: NEVER a bad idea!
The inspiration for these freezie pops came to me just like most other forms of summer inspiration do: whatever happens to be available. J’s dad had some peaches that were about to go south, my Carrot and I had just bought twenty pounds of organic blueberries from a farm in Northern Michigan (yes, 2-0) and we’d just unpacked the boxes of liquor in search of a muddler for our mojitos and eyed a bottle of bourbon. The popsicle vision was born.
Now if I had to choose a favorite from these two freezie pops, I’m not sure I could. The Blueberry Beet & Basil is deep and earthy and subtly sweet. The color is vibrant and the basil brings a bright freshness that just screams Wisconsin summer. But the Peach Brown Sugar Bourbon, well, need I say more? It’s a boozy popsicle. A frozen treat with booze in it. And brown sugar. And peaches! Now that’s just the perfect way to celebrate a long harvest day.
I hope you all are savoring these last weeks of summer and I hope you take a break or two from whatever keeps you busy in August to do the summer things that makes your soul happy.
BLUEBERRY BEET & BASIL FREEZIE POPS
Makes 4 large freezie pops
Takes 30 minutes plus time for freezing
1 cup blueberries
1 cup shredded red beets
2 tablespoons purple basil chiffonade
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
- 1. Combine all ingredients together in a food processor. Pulse until well-combined and uniform in texture.
2. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a liquid measuring cup and pour blueberry beet mixture into it (in batches if necessary). Press solids with a spatula so all liquids run into the measuring cup. Pour strained mixture into freezie pop pouches (using a funnel if necessary). Seal and freeze until solid and enjoy!
PEACH BROWN SUGAR BOURBON FREEZIE POPS
Makes 3 large freezie pops
Takes 40 miutes plus time for freezing
3 peaches, cored and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until peaches are soft. Let cool for 15 minutes and then puree mixture in a food processor until smooth.
- Using a funnel, pour mixture into freezie pop pouches once cooled. Seal and freeze until solid.