As utterly boring as it is to hear someone drone on and on about the weather, it can’t be denied that, when you tend to base most of your cooking decisions on the current state of the weather, not thinking and talking about the weather can quickly become a rather taxing enterprise. Making the situation even more complex is the fact that spring in Portland can never make up its everloving mind about whether or not it is going to call for nine days of straight rain and wind, or a solid block of sunny 75 to 80 degree days. How is a person supposed to know what to cook when yesterday was a grilling day, but today is a hearty soup and warm bread day?
What this is leading up to is the story of how I bought a watermelon when the weather was nice, but then, rather suddenly, the weather turned on me, lashing us with a week of 50 degree days that punished us with nonstop rain and wind. As everybody knows, watermelon is meant to be eaten on warm and sunny days, so there I was, watermelon at the ready, but in no position to partake of it.
Eventually, as we hope (but never really know) it always will, the sun did come back out. In a city where 75 degrees is as good as 100 degrees, it was watermelon weather again, and I was determined to crack my melon friend open and get to slicing. Wedge after wedge of watermelon was enjoyed and, due to the pleasingly large nature of a watermelon, there was plenty of melon available to freeze into homemade popsicles. And not just any homemade popsicles, my friends—all fruit popsicles, with no sugar added, and only as many ingredients as the number of fruits you choose to squeeze into them. It’s like eating nothing but fruit, because, well, it is eating nothing but fruit, only frozen, and in a pleasing popsicle shape, which, as we all know, is what one does when the sun comes out.
Watermelon Lime Popsicles
4 cups of watermelon chunks, preferably seedless watermelon, but, if not, seeds removed
juice of half a lime
¼ to 1/3 cup fresh fruit of your choice, sliced into small pieces (I used kiwi, but I also like the sound of sliced strawberries or raspberries, or whole blueberries)
In a food processor, puree watermelon chunks until smooth and liquid. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl, using a flexible spatula to urge the puree through the strainer. Stir in lime juice.
Pour watermelon mixture into popsicle molds, filling the molds about ¾ full (I was able to fill 8 molds, with a bit of juice leftover for drinking directly from the bowl with a straw, a clean-up method I highly recommend). As you can see, I filled some molds all the way, in the interest of my son’s request to have some popsicles without fruit chunks in them. Do not place the tops on the molds. Place the molds in the freezer for one hour, until the mixture becomes slightly slushy. Drop bits of fruit into each mold, making sure the mixture does not overflow over the top of the molds. Place the tops on the popsicle molds, then freeze overnight.
To release the popsicles from the molds, run the base of the molds under warm water for about 10 seconds. The popsicles should release with ease.
Makes about eight 3-inch popsicles. Your number of popsicles will vary depending on the size of mold you use.