Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my Aunt Laura's house. Her kids were about my age (my cousin Logan is just a month older than me), and since my aunt worked as a secretary for the school, she had summer's off. My first introduction to homemade popsicles came from those summers, when Aunt Laura would take Kool-Aid or whatever other fruity drink was around and pour it into an ice cube tray. She would place plastic wrap over the top, then stick toothpicks into each cube segment and freeze the whole thing to make little mini popsicles. The weight of the popsicle was often too much for a flimsy little toothpick, but it was no matter to us, we were happy to have a chilly treat for those hazy Upstate New York summers. Making these popsicles reminded me of Aunt Laura and, like any good food should, evoked memories of other times.
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
10-12 basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
4 cups strawberries
1. Combine the sugar, water, and basil in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.
2. Remove sugar mixture from heat and allow to cool. Be sure to muddle the basil leaves with a wooden spoon to release oils. This is essentially a basil simple syrup recipe. Use more or less basil to taste. Remove basil leaves after about 10 minutes.
3. In a blender, puree strawberries. Add basil simple syrup and blend again. For a smoother consistency, strain mixture through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Pour mixture into popsicle mold or into biodegradable disposable cups. Place popsicle stick or spoon into the center of each popsicle and freeze for three hours or overnight.
4. To unmold popsicles, simply run the mold or cups under hot water for a few seconds. Best enjoyed barefoot and/or in a hammock.
PS - In case you couldn't tell, this recipe is baby-approved.