It’s another Santa Ana week in San Diego.
On these days when the temperature hits 90 degrees (in October!) and the humidity hovers around 10%, all I want to do is eat something cold. Right now I’m craving one of the ice-cold, homemade popsicles made by Lisa Altmann of Viva Pops.
I met Lisa and her partner, Jack, on their first day at the Saturday morning Little Italy Farmers’ Market. Lisa makes all of the popsicles herself, using only organic fruit that she buys from local vendors. Right now, in late (California) summer, she is getting her nectarines, peaches and plums from Lone Oak Ranch, which also has a stand at the Little Italy (and La Jolla) market.
Of course, I love the fact that she uses local, organic ingredients, but what I really love are all the different flavors she offers. Like Mexican paletas, Viva Pops come in a variety of flavors and textures, both creamy (made with milk) and icy, flavored with tart fruits and spices (chile, mint, ginger).
The mango-chile and nectarine-basil were two of my favorites. My daughter went straight for the chocolate-banana, her favorite flavor combination. At $3 a pop, they are not cheap. But for coffee drinkers used to paying that much for a cup of chain-store coffee, I don’t see how you can complain. The intense flavor and freshness of these pops sure beats those artificially flavored, sugary ice cubes you get at the grocery store. And Lisa says her flavors will change with the season. Naturally.
Red Flag Fire Alert
On these hot Santa Ana days, when the temperature in San Diego rises and the humidity falls below 10%, the National Weather Service issues a red flag warning. This warning means that critical fire weather conditions are occurring: a combination of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures which could create an “explosive fire growth potential.”
It’s been nearly a year since the Witch Creek Fire and other fires burned over half a million acres in southern California, destroyed over 2000 residences, caused a billion dollars in damages and led half a million people to evacuate their homes.
Once again, we are watching the hills and watching the news.
for every drop of water
for every day
to the firefighters who risk their lives
to the farmers whose livelihood depends on our support