Last night, I looked at our counter laden with peaches, nectarines and apricots… all the delights of summer…. and realized these delicious fruits are flirting with their own demise; they must get eaten! So, after the kids went to bed, I poured a glass of wine and cut up the fruit – peeling off the skins and slicing wedges. I put each type of fruit into its own large mason jar, added a handful of sugar, and a splash of water. 5 minutes in the microwave on medium power, followed by a minute at full power gave the mix a quick boil. One boiled over, so it’s worth watching it if you don’t like cleanup. Then, into the fridge.
This makes what I call “jam-ish”. Neither “poached fruit” nor “jam” seems to describe the lightly cooked, lightly sweetened, gooey fruit chunks we make. Recently, I added peach jam-ish to cooked rice, along with a dash of salt and rice vinegar. Mingus must have caught on to the naming game because he declared, “Yum! I call it Peachy Rice!” Regardless, jam-ish has many uses. Combined with Greek yogurt and frozen, it makes another newly-named treat: “Swirly Pops.” And amid sweltering heat here in New York, Swirly Pops are the new best thing in town.
With fresh peach jam-ish on hand, I bring out the jar, along with a cup of Greek yogurt and our popscicle cups. As I lay them out on Mingus’ desk in the kitchen, I explain his job is to fill the cups, alternating between the jam-ish and yogurt. He takes his job seriously, avoiding spills and patting the top of each cup flat.
William inserts the handles into each cup and his attention turns to the leftovers. Already familiar with yogurt, he taste tests the jam-ish. I ask him if it is good. Coyly, he replies, “It is 10 percent good.” I tell him, “You’re eyes are saying it’s 100 percent good,” and I prepare him a bite – a lot of jam-ish and just a little yogurt. He takes the bite and conceeds, “It is 80 percent good.” Then he makes me a bite – mostly yogurt with just a little jam. He knows I don’t like my food too sweet.
Several hours later, we arrive back home from the playground. The slides were too hot to touch. The water fountain was running on low pressure and only dribbled out. Red-faced and parched, I remind the boys, “The Swirly Pops are ready!” Andrew squirms out of his stroller and races to the freezer.
Andrew helps me take the pops out of their cups. He loves his job, until he realizes that he doesn’t get to keep them all. I pry them out of his hands and give one to William. It is hot enough that I demand one for myself as well:)
Peach Swirly Pops:
1/4 cup Sugar
A Splash of Water
7oz Container of Plain Greek Yogurt
You’ll want to make the jam-ish in advance because it needs time to cool. So, when you have a few moments, peel and cut up the peaches, putting them in a large mason jar with the sugar and a splash of water. Heat the mixture until it boils. Every microwave is different, so start on a medium power for 3 minutes. Then stir the mixture and heat on high power for a minute, watching to prevent it from boiling over. As the bubbles reach for the lip of the jar, pull the jar out, cover it up and place it in the fridge. After your jam-ish has cooled, alternate spooning the jam-ish and yogurt into the popsicle cups. Insert the popsicle handles into the cups and place them in the freezer. Two hours later, they’re ready to eat:)