Jul 14, 2010

Summertime - Its Ice, Ice Baby

Air-conditioning units blasting, misting fans going and persons are often found fanning themselves with a magazine, folded newspaper, bare hands - anything - to keep cool amidst this heat. Hello! Summer is really here...

So we offer ‘megalicious’ tips to stave off ‘summery insanity’. Enter - ice, ice baby - crushed, cubed or chipped ice. Either form is a must have! No ice-tray. No problem. Simply call Island Ice for delivery of Happy Ice to Go.

Ninety-six degree temperatures could see icy, cold and fruity popsicles hitting the 'spot'. Add Third World Band’s 96 degrees in the shade and all will be 'jamming' if only for a minute.

Consider cool beverages - refreshing and delicious - watermelon mint or cucumber popsicles – lovely and inexpensive afternoon snacks. In the evening, jazz things up with vodka or sake.

Watermelon-Mint Popsicles

Watermelon and mint make a sweetheart combination.

4 cups cubed watermelon

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup mint leaves

Begin by removing the watermelon rind and slicing the watermelon into small cubes. Since seedless watermelon isn’t common in Jamaica you can buy one with seeds (like I did) . RBe sure to remove the seeds before pureeing. This recipe says to strain the pureed fruit mixture but to add texture, do not strain. For even cooler beverages this summer, keep reading.

Cucumber Lychee Sake

Source: Tyler Florence

1/2 cup sake

2 Cucumbers

4 long thin slices of fresh ginger

8 oz simple syrup (equal part sugar dissolved in water)

1/4 cup lychee juice, plus lychees for garnish

Make ginger simple sugar by combining ginger, and equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer until sugar has dissolved. Peel cucumbers and cut half of one into thin slices. Puree the remaining one and half cucumbers in a blender. In a shaker, combine sake, pureed cucumber, ginger simple syrup and lychee juice. Strain and serve over ice garnished with fresh cucumber slices and Lychees. Oh La La! [Yield: serves 4] [Time: 12 minutes]

Coconut Water

Tried and proven a freshly cut ice - cold jelly coconut makes for a healthful and naturally refreshing beverage. Cut the coconut in two and partake in soft 'n delicious coconut jelly.

Lightly sprinkle with brown sugar, if the jelly is hard and crisp. Very enjoyable.

Away from fresh coconut water - try the So Delicious food brand.

What can I say about these luscious-looking frozen treats before tasting them? Well, they're made with organic coconut water, sweetened with fruit juice plus have only 100 calories which makes them a perfect guilt-free indulgence!

Frozen Fruits

Heading to the beach?

Take along frozen fruits - guineps, grapes, sweet sop (sugar apple), berries and or pineapples - they will be a ‘hit’ among family and friends!

Besides they are easy and economical additions to the igloo.

Put fresh fruit in a zip-lock bag, note the date, type of fruit stored and place overnight inside your freezer. In the morning your fruit will be nicely frozen and ready for your beach trip. Tell us if you have tried. We would love to have your feedback.

Fruit Juices

It's a great time to dust off the blender and use it to create many wonderful, easy-to- make fruit juices.

Perfect when on the run without time for cooking.

Cucumber cooler is fairly popular on a hot summery day. Awh. So good - vegetable in a glass!

Do you like?


After running around all day, there is nothing quite like a sno-cone to cool you down. Remember childhood days at Jamaica’s Coconut Park? or Stage shows – like Reggae Sunsplash? Nowadays, waiting on a bus in Half-Way-Tree, Cross Roads, Downtown or even at a kiddies party will likely see one and all rushing to the sno-cone machine to get one of these ice-syrup treats.

Put the above in a plastic bag and you'll get 'sky juice'. A favorite among many Jamaican school children. Another popular item these days is Kisko pops which have long replaced King Kong (a giant version of Kisko pops complete with a straw at the side) and considered an enjoyable treat for kiddies in nursery schools, primary schools or homes.

Some kids, become scarred, fume with vexation to this day like my younger brother, if a teacher dared to cut their Kisko pop into half so they too might share in its enjoyment LOL. In the event this has happened to you and your child, how about 'cheering up' with raspberry popsicles.

These are pretty easy to make along with kids. Don’t have ice pop molds - Shot glasses work very well and small Dixie cups would work too. On a diet, the sugar can be substituted by artificial sweeteners.


2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (or any other berry)
1/3 cup sugar (or to the taste)
1/3 cup hot water
6 shot glasses

6 pop sticks

Place the fruit and sugar in a food processor or a blender. Add hot water and beat for several minutes, until the mixture turns into a purée. Pass through a sieve, pressing well, and discard seeds. Transfer the mixture to the glasses and place the pop sticks. Freeze for at least 4 hours. To release the ice pops, dip the glasses in warm water for a few seconds. Makes 6 small pops.

Btw, if were to pour the liquid mixture in a plastic bag and freeze you'll get Jamaican 'suck-suck'.

Italian Ice and Gelato

As a tip for Summer weddings, esp. in August, your guests will be appreciative of this offering.

While I am at it there is nothing like Cherry Italian Ice in New York City.

And my-oh-my I must, must, must mention the city's gelato. So NYC, there is an upside to having 3-digit temperature :-).

Times like these I find myself reminiscing about Raphael’s that served up Kingston’s finest Italian Ice and Gelato (on Hillcrest Ave). With them closed for over a decade, one now look forward to visiting Calypso Gelato across from Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay. Simonetta Maffesantti ensures fresh ingredients are used and MEG highly recommends ALL to try their Guava gelato (when in season) – it is to-die-for!

Source: Jamaica Observer

So if you are heading to Reggae Sumfest, July 17-24, be sure to stop by Calypso Gelato on the Hip Strip. Unable to visit NYC or Montego Bay anytime soon enjoy family fun time making this recipe: -

1 1/4 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
1 piece of ginger (like 3 inches long, peeled and chopped into four pieces)
Zest of 2 lemons, chopped
1 cup of lemon juice (about six lemons)
Crushed Ice (I use one full ice-cube tray)

Yield: 10 to 12 Servings


Locals and people from all over the world trek to Devon House in Kingston, Jamaica to learn about its history and architecture but truth be-told it is often for ice-cream.


‘I-scream’ at Devon House – rocks!

Even Italians famous for gelato (Italian ice-cream) fall in love with Devon House. Flavors such as Devon Stout, Coconut, Rum & Raisin, Coffee and Grape Nut are ranked favorites by adults and children alike. It is said to be the most rich, wholesome ‘lick’ anyone can experience.

Say, can you keep a secret? In true ‘Allo,‘Allo style - "Listen very carefully I shall only say vis vonce…"Mondays & Tuesdays are J$100 scoop days. That is, only US$1.16 per scoop!!! On your next trip to Jamaica, MEG hopes you too will fall in love with Kingston’s best ‘I-scream’ secret.

We won't leave out vegetarians with soy ice-cream. No sooner tried we quickly endorsed gourmet soy ice-cream made by Debz & Ranaz - Product of Jamaica.

Coconut Pineapple, plain Coconut and Grape Nut are just a few flavors that we sampled and they were ALL delightful, lower in calories, amenable to lactose intolerant consumers and best of all cheaper than the overseas brands currently stocked at the local supermarket. AzMart (Barbican) and Mega Mart (Barbican) are suggested locations to get your pint.

Source: Low Density Lifestyle

Super Duper Ice-cream sandwich
This was a special treat and many prayed that 'Fudgie' did not run of stock before pulling up at their gate.
Likewise, faces would glow with smiles from the unwrapping of a nutty buddy ice-cream cone.
Handled with care to avoid the nuts from sticking to the wrapper.

In the U.S, popular ice-cream brands include Cold stone Creamery, Haagen Dazs, Rita's, Ben & Jerry’s, Carvel’s, Baskin Robbins, Dairy Castle, and are enjoyed by just about everyone – young, old, famous and not so famous. Here you see even American Presidents - Obama, Clinton, Bush, Kennedy and Vice President - Biden all in on the 'scoop'.

We say the love of ice-cream, like music, is universal – one love!

Across to Southeastern Asia, like the Philippines, the avocado (pear) has always been used as a dessert not as a salad ingredient. They open the avocado and scrape its flesh into a bowl, mix in evaporated milk and sugar and add some ice to make it into a nice, refreshing end of a meal treat.

Sometimes the mixture is put into ice- trays with little cubes of avocado treats to ‘suck on’ like popsicles on a hot day. If Thailand is anything to go by there are a lot of hot days.

Thai dessert typically includes green tea - ice-cream or tea.

Have you tasted green tea? Do share.

Well this brings us to the end of today's blog. See us next week for great ideas on sparkling, Lemonade (including Panaka - Indian Lemonade), Ole time favorite - Slush, Paletas (Cantaloupe & Cucumber), Sweet Lassi, Smoothies and Iced Teas - Amaretto & Jamaican Flower (hibiscus).

Budding Foodies please note the Jamaica Observer Food Awards will be held on July 22nd when Master Chef, Marco Pierre White, is scheduled to sparkle. You won't want to miss it.
Telegraph, UK

"I am Jamaica's number one fan in the world," states an upbeat Marco Pierre White…"There is no place else that welcomes you the way the people of Jamaica do...” As a Jamaican I read the above with pride and had to read it once more. Without doubt MEG is even more excited to attend this year's food awards.

Hey, did you know eight (8) persons could win a chance to cook with Chef Marco? Write to the Jamaica Observer and explain why you should be given the opportunity (in 250 words). Deadline: July 18th. Until next time, walk good!

* “Something Different” is written by Dana Jacobi, author of 12 Best Foods Cookbook and contributor to AICR’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.


  1. Man I am so heading to Devon House. It's so hot in Jamaica today. Thanks MEG for this post!

  2. Wow, this blew my mind. Brain freeze :-)) Great pictures esp. of those guineps. Wanted to grab one. Looking forward to Part 2.

  3. Enjoy your ice-cream, Sarah.

    @Brian - LOL. I just had a bunch and got a 'twinie'

    Thank you both for your lovely comments.

  4. Hmm, frozen guineps has piqued my interest. Will try soon.

  5. I sure do miss Raphael's!

  6. Tried Tempura Green Tea ice-cream at a Japanese sushi spot in Kingston, Jamaica. It's pretty good.

  7. @Jessie - Please let us have your feedback

    @Patricia - Ditto!!!

    @Rochelle - A number of persons will be surprised. It rocks!

  8. Wonderful site! Beautiful pictures and writing.


Thank you for your comment. Have a Megalicious Day!