The Popsicle Man & Brown Sugar Yogurt Gelato

I grew up in suburbia, just outside of Boston. When I was really small we spent the month of August on the Cape. Our summer home away from home was a ramshackle rental within walking distance of the beach and both sets of grandparents. In July we waited eagerly for August. If the suburban heat became truly unbearable, my mom would grab us kids, the dogs and my grandmother and escape to the Cape. Yes, we abandoned our men folk to their air-conditioned offices with nary a thought or regret.

But most of the time, we hung out in the ‘burbs with our friends. My three best pals, MaryBeth, Binky and Mary, kept me company most of the time. We took swimming lessons in Morses Pond and Lake Waban. We rode out bikes up and down Jackson Road. We climbed trees. If it rained, the local movie theater offered a matinee. We wandered around a fair bit, in the woods behind our houses, around Longfellow Pond and in and out of each other’s houses. We probably spent more time looking for something to do than actually doing it. Sometime in the mid to late afternoon we started to raise our antenna and listen for the Popsicle Man.

You never wanted to be too far from home when the Popsicle Man came around. It was a race against time to beat it home and convince your mom to give you a nickel. You then had to race back down the street and catch up with the white truck with its gaily painted pictures of frozen treats. As soon as we heard the truck’s first musical jingle, our little legs would pump like crazy. For some horrible but unknown reason, the Popsicle Man always started at our end of the street. We’d pass him as we dashed up the hill. We hoped against all hope that a big, long line would form and give us plenty of time to get home, get a nickel and make it back before he disappeared for another day.

It didn’t matter if there were cookies in the jar or ice cream in the freezer, we always wanted a frozen treat from the Popsicle Man. But first we had to convince our moms to hand over that nickel. The later he cruised through the neighborhood in his musical white truck, the harder the negotiation. For some crazy reason, the closer it was to dinner time, the more our mothers objected.

A nickel would get you a bright red, cherry Popsicle or a chocolaty Fudgesicle or a creamy Dreamsicle. Popsicles and Fudgesicles came on a double stick. If Mom hesitated, I would offer to share with my sister or save half for after dinner. A dime would get you a Chocolate Cover. I have no idea if that’s their real name but that’s what we called them. A Chocolate Cover was like an Eskimo Pie and was on a single stick. While Fudgesicles were my favorite, Mom was partial to Chocolate Covers. I knew I’d increase my chances if I offered to bring her one. The hotter the day, the easier the negotiation.

Finally she would relent. Off I’d race, nickels and dimes jingling and a list of frozen treats to buy for the entire family. And since the Popsicle Man usually cruised down Jackson Road at a glacial crawl, more often than not, I managed to catch him before he disappeared around the corner to another neighborhood.

Stay cool! Bon appétit!


Brown Sugar Yogurt Gelato
It’s been a long time since I indulged in a Fudgesicle. I’m guessing they’ll set you back more than a nickel these days. This summer my favorite frozen treat is Brown Sugar Yogurt Gelato. Sweet and a bit tangy, smooth and creamy, it is the perfect treat on a steamy afternoon. Enjoy!

Makes about 1 quart

1 quart nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 – 3/4 cup (to taste) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups half & half

Put the yogurt in a colander or sieve lined with a clean dishtowel or coffee filter; let drain for several hours or overnight. You should end up with about 2 cups of yogurt cheese.

Put the yogurt, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and about 1/2 cup half & half in a large measuring cup. Whisk to combine. Slowly add the remaining half & half and whisk until smooth. Add enough half & half to make 1 quart of gelato mix.

Transfer the mixture into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for up to one month.

If the gelato comes out of the freezer rock hard, put it in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes. It will soften a little and be easier to scoop. Garnish with fresh berries and serve.

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Three Years Ago – Barbecue Chicken

What’s your summer story? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

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Feel free to visit my other, cleverly named blog, Susan Nye’s Other Blog, or photoblog Susan Nye 365. You can find more than 250 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more on my website. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good.©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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