It may be beach season but our past few weekends have been spent working on the yard. I am hosting one of my best friends' baby shower here next month and while I can't completely overhaul it how I'd like, it has been in need of some sprucing. Curran runs around naked with the hose, Cleo rolls around on a blanket under a striped umbrella, yelling when she's on her tummy for too long but refusing to flip over. Hugh is sore and his back is completely sunburnt from weeding and planting ground cover but the "American dream" or something right? I trim the few plants that I haven't killed yet and water judiciously given the drought situation. Everything looks on the brink of being completely parched - which I am not sure whether to blame on my water conservation or lack of interest in gardening all together. Probably both. Naps. Food. Work. Crying. Laundry. The days are spent so quickly and I go to bed regretting that we didn't do anything "special" today. Maybe it's the news lately or my sensitive spirit but I know that our days are finite. I've been teary over the recent tragedies in Istanbul and Orlando. It could be any of us, really. And while I can't guarantee my people are safe at all times, I want our days to feel rich in love. At the end of each one, I want to feel like that day was marked by something and it's tough to keep in perspective that sometimes those marks are delicate and small and don't necessarily have to take much effort. I want some sort of miraculous balance between fun and new and intimate and social and productive but I know we don't get to have all that in the scope of the day. It is only when I can sit alone and quiet, that I see that even these days in the backyard with the baby buns and sunburns ARE a beautiful part of our finite days. Our memories and photos of these first few years with young kids may largely be at home and I am only recently starting to come to terms with that. I do need a vacation, but watching my boy giggle through the sprinklers and request that his sticky popsicle be cut in pieces because it hurts his teeth is it's own brand of wonderful.
As a major fan of fruit in desserts, I was so excited to flip through Yossy's new cookbook. It's divided by season and then ingredient but still has adaptations for other fruits within the recipes. It's admittedly on the richer side of my normal fare but I find desserts to be more crowd-pleasing that way anyhow. And sometimes Hugh and Curran are my crowd. She has this pistachio pound cake in there that looks amazing and a super simple looking strawberry tart. It'll be perfect for summer meals outside. Curran chose these popsicles and while I'm sure he would have eaten anything from the book, they were perfect for these warm summer days.
CANTALOUPE AND MINT YOGURT POPS // Makes 6-12 depending on molds
Recipe from Sweeter off the Vine by Yossy Arefi
Yossy asks for a teaspoon of orange-flower water which I do not stock. I went for the zest and juice of one lime which I thought was a perfect substitute with the melon and mint though I am sure the original is wonderful. We have a small, flimsy $1 popsicle mold from Walmart as our freezer is configured in such a way that makes it hard to fit in a full size mold. If you don't have molds, you could churn it in an ice cream maker for frozen yogurt or even just drink it as a smoothie. The sweetness dulls once frozen so keep the mix a little sweeter than you'd like your finished product.
12-ounces seeded and chopped cantaloupe
1 cup full fat greek yogurt
1/3 cup mild honey, to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, packed
zest and juice of one lime or 1 tsp. orange-flower water
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and adjust the level of sweetness if necessary by adding more honey, one teaspoon at a time (I did not find it needed any more). Pour into frozen pop molds and freeze the pops until completely firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.