Sep 5, 2009

Ice Lollies, Ice Pops, Popsicles & Ice Blocks - Ice Cream On A Stick

Many of my readers are from the USA & Canada and to them the term "popsicle" is a familiar one. However, for the 1 in 5 of you who read my Blog Of Ice Cream and live elsewhere in the world, this word will be nothing more than a word you have perhaps heard in American movies. So let's look into this a little more ....

First of all, where did "popsicle" come from? Well, it was originally a brand name but, like many brand names (eg. Hoover), it was adopted as a genericized trade mark referring to any ice pop irrespective of brand. That perhaps explains why it's a term indigenous to North America.

In Britain the more familiar term is "ice lolly"

In Ireland it's "ice pop" or "lolly ice"

In Australia & New Zealnd it's "ice block" or sometimes "icy pole" (again from a brand name)

So who first made an "ice pop" or "ice lolly"? According to Wikipedia, it was back in 1905 when Frank Epperson (aged just 11) left a glass of soda water powder and water out on his porch with a wooden mixing stick in it. The temperature dropped below freezing that night and the next morning Frank found the soda water frozen inside the glass. When he ran it under hot water he found he could remove the frozen chunk using the stick ... and then naturally he ate it!

If you like popsicles - or ice pops - or ice lollies - or ice blocks (I'm sure I will have missed someone out here and if I apologise!), then try my rhubarb popsicle recipe. Delicious! There are also some great popsicle makers & molds to buy on the ICR Amazon store.

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Aug 28, 2009

Daisy & Poppy - Ice Cream Popsicle Kids

Right now summer is still at the forefront of many people's minds and enjoying ice cream is a fundamental part of this special season - for adults and children alike.

I have just returned from holiday in The Netherlands where I observed people of all ages enjoying ice cream - families out walking eating ice cream popsicles, couples walking hand in hand enjoying ice cream cones and groups both large and small sat in ice cream parlors looking excitedly at the menu, spoilt for choice as to which delicious ice cream sundae they should order. When I returned from holiday, this 'theme' continued when I downloaded some super photos from my friend Sarah who lives in England.

Sarah has long known of my passion for all things ice cream and some time ago she told me about a wonderful ice cream parlour within the grounds of an English castle (Eastnor Castle). However, as the "Ice Cream Parlour" is only open during the summer months for visitors to the castle and its special events, I knew I would have to wait before I could see any photos. Well, the wait was worth it. I have never seen such an array of smiling faces amongst people of all age groups and all of them eating ice cream!

The best one? It has to be of Daisy (Sarah's beautiful 2 year old daughter) and her friend Poppy enjoying popsicles on a lovely English summer's day. The concentration of enjoyment in their faces is a joy to behold.

In England incidentally they don't use the term "ice cream popsicles" ... instead they call them "ice lollies". Now there's an idea for my next post - the history of the "ice pop". Before I digress too much though I will be back soon with more photos of smiling faces from the Eastnor Castle "Ice Cream Parlour".

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Aug 24, 2009

Rhubarb Popsicles - A Special Ice Cream Treat

As my regular readers will know, I enjoy growing my own fruit and am particularly proud of my annual crop of rhubarb. John, the owner of my local garden nursery, has even said it's the finest he's ever seen - and he's seen a lot of rhubarb over the years!

Rhubarb is one of those foods that people seem to love or hate, nothing in between. Personally I love it and the fact that it's actually good for you is a bonus. Rich in iron and high in fibre, rhubarb makes for a great dessert whether stewed or in pies and crumbles. Served hot with fresh vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or custard. Delicious!

But what about a cold rhubarb dessert? Well, there's rhubarb yogurt which is nice but what about even colder than that? Rhubarb and custard popsicles! Simple but unusual and on hot days this summer it could prove a real winner for the family.

All you need is your freezer, a set of popsicle molds, some popsicle sticks, about 1 1/2 lbs of fresh rhubarb chopped into small pieces (obviously stalks only!), 3-4 tablespoons of sugar (according to taste), 1/2 pint of heavy cream and 1lb of vanilla custard (ready made or homemade, cooled). Cook the rhubarb, water and sugar together in a pan for about 5 minutes then put to one side to cool thoroughly. After whipping the cream into peaks, stir the custard into it well. Take the popiscle molds and fill each one first with a spoonful of cooled, cooked rhubarb followed by a spoonful of cream/custard mix. Keep the process going until each mold is filled. Place the popsicle sticks into the mixture/molds and then put in your freezer for about 5 hours.

For those of you who thought rhubarb and custard was only a hot dish for a winter's evening, think again!

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