Paletas are traditional Mexican ice pops, usually made from puréed summer fruits. Melons are especially good for pops because they are naturally high in water and sugar.
If you don’t have molds, you can use large ice-cube trays or paper cups and wooden ice-pop sticks. If you have too much fruit puree for the number of molds, you can combine the extra with ice in a blender and make refreshing fruit drinks, called aguas frescas, to enjoy before the pops are ready.
Kids can: Scoop the seeds from the melons; remove the melon flesh with an ice-cream scoop; place the melon in the blender and make the puree; help fill the molds.
Melon medley paletas
1 small seedless watermelon
1 small cantaloupe
1. Cut each melon in half. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds from the cantaloupe. Then scoop out the flesh from all the melons with an ice cream scoop. Or you can cut the flesh from the rind with a knife, then cut it into chunks.
2. Have ready 12 ice-pop molds. You may want to have more on hand in case you end up with extra purée.
3. Put the watermelon in a blender and process until smooth. Fill one-third of the molds with the purée. Rinse out the blender and repeat with the cantaloupe. The purée can be a bit chunky.
4. Place the molds in the freezer. If you are using nontraditional molds, such as ice-cube trays or paper cups, you will need to freeze the purée until it is partially frozen, usually about two hours, then insert a stick into each mold and return the molds to the freezer.
5. Freeze the paletas for at least eight hours or up to 24 hours. They will keep in the freezer for one week.
This time of year, the Western Wake Farmers' Market, 1225 Morrisville Carpenter Rd. in Cary, is open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesdays. The market offers regular events. Here's what's scheduled in August:
- Aug. 4:“Yes, You CAN!,” a canning demonstration by Ginger Zucchinio of The Gardener’s Kitchen. Sprouting Souls will have information about healthy eating and recipes for quick, weeknight meals. Music by Kyle Scobie.
- Aug. 11: Celebrate Melon Day at the market with samples and recipes featuring cantaloupe and watermelon. Kids, make your own melon pops! Gardening tips from Jason Blackley. Music by Ross Warren.
- Thursday, Aug. 16 from 6 p.m .to 8 p.m.: The market will be hosting a fundraiser at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, "Seasonal Small Plates and Wine Pairings." The interactive meal with award-winning Chef Scott Crawford will feature local ingredients from the market. A silent auction with also be held at the event. Tickets on sale at Western Wake Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon..
- Aug. 18: It’s Kids Day at the market! Stop by for fun activities including cooking demonstrations, gardening for kids and more from Barefoot Books. Music by Doug Pratt and Larry Sleeper.
- Aug. 25: Learn all about fermentation and how to preserve fruits and vegetables from Alice Loyd. Music by Andrew Robbins.
For more information about Western Wake Farmers' Market, go to its website.
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