Fueling Up To Play This Summer

SPECIAL NOTE: Congrats to Ice Cream Machine winner: Julie M who said “Chocolate Mint is the Best!”  Julie, we will be in contact soon!  Congrats!

By Mary Nicholson

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of summer.   Time to kick back and relax, right?  If you’re a parent of school-aged kids, summer may be your busiest time of year!  When my kids were in grade school, I often felt like a camp counselor during the summer, trying to keep them occupied and busy, but at a more leisurely pace than the school year demanded.

For many years, swimming lessons took up summer mornings for at least 2 weeks.  That was time well spent at a park with an outdoor pool.  We would sometimes go back in the afternoon or after dinner so that my husband could enjoy the water, too.  There were other activities that we all took part in besides swimming, but that was always the most refreshing.  Because our house was not air-conditioned there was not a lot of incentive to stay inside.

Cooking meals that required turning on the stove were a rarity during the summer months as well.  We did grill a fair amount and supplemented the entrée with fresh fruits (watermelon was my favorite!) and salads.  And the milk we had with meals was always ice cold and refreshing.  If we had an evening snack, it was usually ice cream or pudding or something else that didn’t require baking.

I was given a neat cookbook , one of those used for fundraising, where many people contribute favorite recipes.  While looking through the book, I came across several unique items that I just had to try.  One of those was a recipe for homemade fudgesicles.  (Keep in mind this more than 20 years ago, well before the internet and the Food Network!).  It was so quick and simple, I figured I had nothing to lose.  Here’s the recipe:

1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix

2 cups milk

¼ c sugar

¼ c. Milnot

Directions:  Stir well.  Pour into molds and freeze.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good these tasted, and it was easy enough to make that the kids could help. It was much cheaper than buying fudgesicles at the grocery store.  Plus it had the nutrition of milk!

Along the same lines, another favorite summertime treat (from that same cookbook) were popsicles.  Here’s the recipe for those:

1 small package gelatin – any flavor

1 pkg unsweetened flavored drink mix – same flavor as gelatin

1 c. sugar

2 c. hot water

2 c. cold water

Directions:  Stir well.  Freeze in molds or ice cube trays.

The hardest part with both of these recipes was waiting for them to freeze!  One thing I did learn – and you’re probably way ahead of me on this – is that with little ones, these are best eaten outside, preferable near a hose.  Enjoy!

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