If you’ve been reading Chattavore for a while, you probably know that I don’t actually live in Chattanooga. I’m from Soddy-Daisy, one of the outlying suburbs and a good twenty-five to thirty minute drive from downtown if there’s any sort of traffic.
I love the quiet of living in the suburbs, but I do feel like I live a million miles away from everything. For the last year, I’ve worked downtown, making access to the Wednesday farmers market and easy ten-minute drive from work. I’m changing schools this year to a school much closer to home….for the sake of my own sanity, wallet, and car health (all because of the commute, nothing at all to do with the school where I was teaching). I’m looking very forward to my new school and cutting my commute to one-third (timewise, anyway).
Unfortunately, at the end of this last school year we made a decision that I would stop going to the Main Street Farmers Market every Wednesday. Truth be told, as much as I enjoy going to the market it just makes more sense for us to get our local produce a little closer to home-there are plenty of produce markets and farmstands around here that sell locally grown produce every day (or most days, anyway) and we can pick up our essential Velo coffee at Velo when we are out and about downtown. The produce showcased in these photos was procured at Maw Hughes’ produce stand on Highway 153 (near Kohl’s and Academy).
Every summer I look forward to the seasonal produce that comes only with the heat of June, July, and August. Drippy, juicy tomatoes on good bread with mayonnaise and perhaps a few slivers of the sharpest cheddar….yellow squash dredged in cornmeal and fried to crispy brown…zucchini sautéed in butter, with nothing else but a little salt and pepper. And cucumbers, which I usually like just sliced with maybe a touch of salt or on top of a salad with a simple red wince vinaigrette.
Cucumbers, however, also evoke thoughts of the obsession that my younger self had with Bath and Body Works products. As a high school and college student, I acquired a very large collection of lotions and sprays-a collection through which I am still working. One of my favorite scents was cucumber-melon; fresh, clean, simple. When I decided to come up with a collection of frozen treats, cucumber-melon instantly popped into my head. No honeydew, though. It seems like the obvious choice because its color closely matches that of cucumber, but it just isn’t my favorite melon. No, no, that role belongs to watermelon, with its sweet and drippy juices threatening to stain anything light-colored that you may be wearing.
These pops are delicious, light in flavor and truly icy in texture. The stripy design looks complicated but isn’t; it just requires some patience. No doubt you could combine the watermelon and the cucumber and reduce the prep time but the resulting pops wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful, nor would they so well showcase the individual notes of the lightly honey-sweetened fresh cucumbers and melons.
Yield: 10 ice pops
12 hr, 20 Prep Time:
5 minCook Time:
12 hr, 25 Total Time:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- juice of two limes
- zest of one lime
- 3 cups cucumber, seeded and chopped (about 3 medium)
- 3 cups watermelon, seeded and chopped (about 1/4 medium)
- Bring the water, lime juice and zest, and honey to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook until honey is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside in a measuring cup while you prepare the cucumber and watermelon.
- Place the chopped cucumbers in a blender with half of the honey/water/lime mixture. Puree to a smooth consistency and pour into a separate container. Rinse out the blender and repeat this step with the watermelon.
- Fill the ice pop containers 1/4 of the way with one of the mixtures-you can do them all the same or alternate. Freeze for two hours then repeat with the other mixture. At this point you can place the popsicle stick in. Freeze for another 2 hours then make a third layer, then freeze another two hours and make a fourth layer. Freeze until solid-about four more hours-then serve.
Prep time is mostly inactive freezing time.