To me, the Fourth of July is when summer really starts. The weather gets hot, kids are running around rampant, and there are watermelons everywhere. But it seems like these days, summer stirs up a lot of worries for people, for instance, mosquitos with the Zika virus, forest fires, sunscreens that don’t work, even — as I saw on the news one July fourth — “flip-flop danger.”
In the face of all this, let’s remember to have fun and embrace the simple pleasures of summer.
I think we all have food-related childhood memories of summer, like hearing the tinkling music of an approaching ice cream truck and running outside to catch it so you can buy a popsicle. Is there anything that makes you feel more like a kid than eating a popsicle?
One day last summer, my husband and I went to the beach and bought a Bomb Pop from a guy pushing an ice cream cart. It was the original red-white-and-blue one from my childhood. Cherry, lime, and the ubiquitous blue raspberry. (Which, by the way, is one of the strangest flavor inventions ever created by food scientists. “Hmm, how do we distinguish all these red fruits from one another? I’ve got it! We’ll make raspberry antifreeze blue!”)
That Bomb Pop was a refreshing, nostalgic treat that made me happy. There’s nothing more American than a red-white-and-blue popsicle. Okay, you may say apple pie, but then you’ve got the whole “a la mode” dilemma to deal with. Bomb Pops are dairy-free!
So this Independence Day, when you hear “bombs bursting in air,” think of that tasty little food science miracle. And whatever summer treat brings you to your happy place, enjoy it with gusto and no guilt. You can worry about the impending apocalypse some other time.