Project Avary ( http://www.projectavary.org) asked us to come to Mendocino and give Pop Lessons to their kids. The kids attending have been affected by the prison system. Either both or one of their parents had served or were serving time in Prison. So, of course we said yes! Hands down, teaching at Camp Avary was the most rewarding experience of the summer. The whole experience was ineffable and not even in some charitable sort of way, which makes one feel good about himself. It was in a way that makes one feel insanely alive and utterly connected to other human beings.
Before we could even unload the car, we were greeted with hugs and squeals from children and young adults eager to make pops! And pops we made, as Aland and I taught 37 kids ( some who have never even seen fresh fruits and veggies) how to create their own unique treat!
As we began our lesson, almost all of the kids were surprised to see that we didn't just pour kool-aid or fruit juice into ice trays and call it a day. They seemed to really enjoy the Farm to Freezer tour, as they picked through a plethora of fresh fruit to create their own masterpieces. The kids were super creative and really involved in each of the four pop making stages. One group came up with a flavor called " Mellow Yellow" and it consisted of cantaloupe, lime, banana and cream. A group of girls were enamored with the idea of re-inventing Strawberry Banana, as they came up with at least, 6 different variations of the flavor: Strawberry-Banana with a hint of lime, Strawberry Banana with cream, Strawberry Banana sans the cream, and the list goes on and on. HOWEVER, our favorite flavor of all time was done by a group of 5-9 year old Master Chefs, who wanted us to share their recipe with the world, and so, in their honor:
The Madrone (named after their Cabin Bunk) Pop:
Makes 4-6 Pops
6-8 Red Plums
1 cup of Organic Cane Sugar
1 cup of Water
Cut plums into small pieces and juice limes. Place water and sugar in a pot, and bring to a boil, until mixture thickens. Place all the ingredients in a blender that is safe for making soup, and blend until the mixture is smooth and free of chunks. Pour in molds and freeze for 6-12 hours.
...The kids will get to taste their delectable creations tomorrow (Thursday), at their Lake party and we're excited to hear back on how everything turned out, but did I mention that Aland and I had the most rewarding experience of the summer?? Oh, I did? Well, did I mention that on our drive home we saw a Humpback whale breaching? It was almost as cool as seeing sweet Lil Boos find a bit of reprieve from the often harsh and unfair world through a beautifully created pop.