Perez Halpern Aug. 2018

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August 2018

SUMMERTIME IN PUERTO RICO When I was a kid growing up in Puerto Rico, we frequently had these traditional fruit popsicles called “limbers.” They come in a small plastic cup, probably 5–7 ounces, no stick in the middle, and they were always homemade. These frozen popsicles were sweet and delicious. The taste of the limbers is tied into my memories of summer and spending time with my grandparents. We spent a lot of time together when I was a kid. neighbor’s house to pick up a half dozen eggs, milk, and candy. It might sound unusual, but in Puerto Rico, it’s something you look forward to. Sweet Treats and Sunny Days

The owner of the market usually made different flavors of limbers — coconut, mango, lemon,


–Meliha Perez Halp ern P.S. Look inside the newsletter for a great limber recipe! fruit punch — which were always fresh, homemade by the people who lived in our community, and never mass manufactured. Someone might spend the whole day selling limbers and eggs out of their garage. In addition to a market near my grandparents’ home, it was often someone by my elementary school who sold limbers from their garage. When it was pick-up time from school, I’d go with my mom, and we’d see if the person was home and had any limbers to sell. As a kid, the challenge was to see if you could melt enough ice to get the frozen treat out of the cup and flip it over to eat it upside down. Unlike shaved ice, it was a solid ice cube made of frozen juice. I remember balancing it out of the plastic cup, squeezing the frozen popsicle out of the cup, and flipping it over. I’d get a sweet mouthful of it, then after a minute or two, try and flip it over again. Sometimes, I wasn’t careful enough, and the frozen popsicle would pop out of the cup and onto the floor. Whether or not I got another one depended on whether I was with my grandparents or parents — my grandparents usually bought me another one. After all this talk about them, all I want to do is go eat a limber! I think I ought to try making them soon so Jacob can experience the Puerto Rican treat, too. I hope you enjoy your own summer treats before the season is over! What are your favorites?


If I ever had a day off from school, I spent it with my grandparents. I loved to play in their backyard, where they had mango, avocado, and lemon trees, and my grandmother lovingly tended to her orchids. It was beautiful there. I’d water the trees — and often myself — and even as they got older, they still played games with me. Often, my grandma would cook something while I played. She always cooked a warm lunch. Unlike in the U.S., sandwiches are not a Puerto Rican lunch staple — cooking is an important part of the culture. You also find fresh fruit and foods on many blocks in Puerto Rico. To this day, you’ll find supermarkets that are part of someone’s house. Sometimes it’s the garage that’s turned into a market, and you just stop by your | 1

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