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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Frosty Food Furnishes Family Fun

Mmmmmm!  Mango!

Last weekend we visited our best friends from college days.  They live in a town that is only about a four hour drive from our home, but we don't see them as much as we would like.  When our two boys and their three children were younger, we vacationed together every few years and have some great stories and running gags from those trips.  All it takes to get the entire crowd laughing is for someone to say "minner cheese," an inside joke from a long-ago trip to Hot Springs. Since all the children are grown and our friends' children have little ones of their own, we were past due for a get together.

A Chef in the Making
The girls have followed the blog and when the granddaughter visiting from Chicago requested a lesson in paleta making, I was thrilled!  Evelyn is quite the precocious four-year-old and she eagerly made the trip to the market to choose flavors and find the best fruit available.  At the check stand, she twirled on my fingers and we danced while the groceries were bagged, anticipating the fun!  Back at the house she juiced lemons, pulverized the fruit, added the sugar, and did the critical taste testing required for proper paleta preparations.   We rushed to get the desserts in the freezer by noon so everyone would have frosty treats for the evening's dessert.  When we were finished, every surface of the kitchen was sticky, but we had, with the help of the little one's mother and grandmother, prepared 42 paletas in sweet, pink watermelon, mouth-watering mango, scrumptious strawberry banana, tangy orange-lime, and enticing vanilla-soaked cherries in chocolate almond milk.

What a celebration we had that night with 16 and two more on the way! And even though we call them friends, the term chosen family is a better fit.  When generations come together to play, laugh and learn from each other, paletas are a tasty treat, but extraneous for joy abounding.  The pleasure is in the work of furthering relationships and sharing passions with the next generation.  I recommend bringing children into the kitchen.  It's a recipe for discovering fun!

Sweet Watermelon Paleta
Delish Dessert
Healthy Treat for a Growing Boy

Mango Lime Recipe
Enjoying the Fruits of Her Labor     
2 1/2 cups fresh peeled mango, cut in 1 inch chunks  
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
2 t fresh ginger grated or 1 t ground ginger

Combine mango chunks, the zest and juice of 1 lime, sugar and ginger in blender or Cuisinart and pulse until smooth. Divide evenly into molds. Add sticks and freeze 4-6 hours.

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