When I was a kid, my mom did not buy too many sweet things. Don’t misunderstand. We ate plenty of sweets, but they were almost always homemade. To this day, it is rare to walk into my mom’s kitchen and not find a Tupperware cake cover that holds a plate of cookies, a pie, some sort of brownies or a cake. Store bought cookies, cakes, pies and the like were few and far between when I was young. The one exception to this rule was ice cream. While we did make homemade ice cream occasionally, we usually had store bought in the freezer nearly all the time.
I was in early elementary school before I realized that there were packaged chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t even realize they existed. After all, why would someone buy them when the ones my mom made were so perfect? And when someone said “chocolate cake”, I thought that they were referring to the one my mom made with that yummy homemade icing. Why mess with greatness?
Once in a while, when it was very hot in the summer time, mom bought a package of popsicles. Back in those days, the only ones to choose from were the little plastic tube type that come in the mesh bag and the ones that came with two per package that you had to break apart. I preferred the latter. Those cheap ones in the plastic tubes always seemed like lots of ice with little flavor. And after all, if you’re looking for a high fructose-induced sugar high on a hot day, you want a lot of fruity syrup to suck out of the ice!
When my own kids were small, I decided that having sweets in the house was dangerous. After all, if it was in the house, I would eat it! And sadly, most of my family suffers from the same lack of self-control, so we just avoided buying or making anything sweet. When the grocery stores starting setting out packages of those plastic tube popsicles every summer, I would tell the kids that they were not that good and they wouldn’t like them.
A couple years ago, I bought a package of the cheap popsicles to show the kids how bad they were. Maybe they’ve changed the formula over the years. Maybe my childhood popsicles were some other brand. Whatever the case may be, those popsicles that I hated as a child are now some of my favorite summer treats! I have fallen into the trap of eating several of them per day lately. Fortunately, they are low in calories, despite the fact that they’re high in all sorts of chemicals and corn syrup. They may not be bad tasting anymore, but they’re certainly bad for you. Apparently my sweet tooth is still pretty big, so when I finish off this package of popsicles, that will be the end of them for this summer.
What is your favorite summer treat that is actually good for you?
(Contact Liz by email at Lizreeves2@aol.com)