Like every summer, we try to escape the heat in our beloved Caribbean corner by heading for cooler climates. Aunt Ilana and I have been writing our “What I Did This Summer” reports for over a decade. I am looking forward to hearing what Ilana has been up to this year, but in the meantime this is what I have been up to: scrumping, that ancient summer tradition.
We are in Denmark again this year, and my daughter has been spending time with family in the countryside, where she’s having metric loads of fun. I look back to my own childhood summers in my grandparents’ farms and can imagine how exciting it must be for her.
Speaking of childhood, isn’t this Oatmeal and Strawberry Popsicle the perfect summer treat? Yes, it is.
Of course, one of the pleasures of summering in the countryside is fruit-picking, be it from your own trees, or neighbors (after obtaining permission, preferably), and I have been enjoying of the fruits rarely or never available at home and some old staples that clearly taste better when freshly-picked — as is the case with nearly everything.
We have picked cherry plums, mirabelles, and all kinds of berries, and I have been learning about deceivingly good-looking fruits that aren’t really edible, and the dangers of walking amongst plants that can give you a nasty rash when you touch them.
Which reminds me why I shall always remain a tourist in the countryside.
When I was a kid I used to drink a strawberry and oatmeal drink that was very popular in the DR. I am not even sure if it is still sold, but I figured I could not only make my own, but make it into something my daughter would love. And she does.
This is almost breakfast-worthy, which makes it a great little treat for fuzzy kids, and a way to make them eat a healthy snack, and even come back for more. I’ll be making these more often when I go back home, possibly trying it with other berries and stone fruits (cherries sounds like a winner too).
And you, what are you doing this summer?
- 1 cup of steel-cut oats
- 2 cups of milk (see notes)
- 1/2 lb [250 g] of strawberries
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup of sugar , or to taste (see notes)
Mix milk and oatmeal in a blender until oats are nearly dissolved. Sieve and remove solids.
Return milk to the blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until milk has turned pink, leaving some small pieces of strawberry.
Pour into popsicle molds, add the sticks and freeze.
You can use almond milk (or similar substitute) for a lactose-free, lighter version.
Substitute sweetener of your choice for sugar, add to taste.