Robin Anish | The Table is Set: Hot summer days call for Popsicles

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Imagine this: It's San Francisco, 1905. Eleven-year-old Frank Epperson is hanging out on his porch hankering for a tasty, sweet beverage. So, he mixes up flavored soda powder and water in a cup using a wooden stir stick.

Well, it doesn't take much for an 11-year-old boy to get distracted ... a couple of buddies passing by, a pick-up game of stickball or a challenge to a game of marbles.

Absentmindedly, Frank forgets about his drink. That night, temperatures drop and it freezes. The next morning, Frank finds his drink. Still frozen, he pulls the stick from the cup only to discover the frozen drink had turned into an ice cube on a stick, kind of like a lollipop. He takes a lick, and you guessed it — the birth of the Popsicle.

It's now 1923, Frank markets his unique creation as an "Epsicle"; but, his kids preferred calling them Pop's `sicles. Clever kids. Dad changes the name and the catchy trademark name is created.

Making homemade Popsicles can be as simple as freezing Kool-Aid in molds or taken over the top with these recipes for everyone's favorite summer treats.

VERY HEALTHY FRESH FRUIT POPSICLES

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh fruit, such as peaches, strawberries, whole blueberries, kiwi cut into small pieces

Flavored water or juice, such as apple, cranberry or try lemonade

DIRECTIONS:

Fill Popsicle molds 3/4 full with fruit pieces. Pour over flavored water. Freeze until firm

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ROOT BEER FLOAT POPSICLE

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces root beer

1 1/4 cups vanilla ice-cream, slightly softened

DIRECTIONS:

Pour enough root beer to 3/4-inch in Popsicle mold.

Evenly distribute spoonfuls of ice cream between Popsicle molds.

Pour remaining root beer into molds in small amounts, allowing the foam to die back before pouring more to fill molds to the top. Freeze until firm.

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CHERRY COLA POPSICLES

INGREDIENTS:

16 ounces cola

1 jar maraschino cherries — 12 to 24 cherries

DIRECTIONS:

Separate maraschino cherries from the maraschino cherry juice. Keep the juice and cherries. Cut 18 to 24 cherries in-half, then place 3 to 6 cherry halves in the Popsicle freezer molds.

Pour maraschino cherry juice over the cherries in each mold to fill 1/3 up each mold.

Freeze for at least 4 hours. Pour cola over the cherries and juice in each mold. Freeze until firm.

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YOGURT CREAMSICLES

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups vanilla yogurt

One 6-ounce can orange juice concentrate or any frozen juice concentrate flavor, thawed

DIRECTIONS:

Mix yogurt and orange concentrate. Pour into molds and freeze until firm.

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Here's a surprise: Flash forward to the 1960s and ice pops are the latest icy treats and, yes, you can make your own!

Who knew? I sure didn't. Disposable ice pop bags are available on Amazon under the name of Frozip. Just fill and freeze. How fun is that?!

A little tip: Brain freeze is no fun, but if it happens, press your tongue up against the roof of your mouth for quick relief.

Yeah! It's summer — enjoy!!!


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