Despite growing up in the South, I often forget what humidity feels like.
Depending on where you live in LA you can in fact live an endless summer, but living by the beach we generally wake up to morning fog and breezy ocean air that prevents the wearing of skirts and shorts, let alone bathing-suits. Needless to say I was unprepared for the swampy heat that would greet us when we arrived in Nashville earlier this summer.
Nashville is amazing. From my hotel window I could see 7 churches and an independent freestanding Christian bookstore. It was in Nashville that I discovered the verb ‘honkey-tonking.’ It was also in Nashville that I discovered my love for paletas.
Paletas are ice pops. In Mexico, paletas are a part of summer…sort of like iced coffee in New York. In the right corners of LA you can find a freezer full of paletas alongside any taco counter. In Nashville these ice pops are made by a local shop called Las Paletas.
To this day, the honeydew paleta from Las Paletas is one of the best things I have put in my mouth. Maybe it was the 90 degree weather. Maybe it was the 95% humidity. It was outrageously good.
Rather than trying to compete with the memory of that honeydew popsicle, I opted for a totally different flavor combination. The cucumber juice makes for a unique flavor – one more vegetal than I am used to in a popsicle, but it’s not such a bad thing. I liked it.
cucumber basil and lime popsicles
(makes roughly 2 cups)
12 oz fresh cucumber juice (from 1 to 2 cucumbers)
3 -4 oz fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
1/4 cup + 2 tbs basil simple syrup (recipe follows)
basil simple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 bunch of basil (about 1 handful)
Peel both the cumbers and limes before juicing. First juice cucumber and measure out 12 oz. Next juice the lime or limes. Strain cucumber lime mixture into a bowl and add basil simple syrup. Stir, taste and adjust the tartness or sweetness to your liking.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. If you don’t have popsicle molds you can use dixie cups and insert popsicle sticks mid-way through the freezing process.