Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Silly Gadget Alert: Zoku Ice Pop Maker

Hell yes.
This will be the first of a series of posts where I discuss gadgets and gizmos that I have bought and (I hope) do not regret buying.

I was in a Williams Sonoma, the kind of place I can get lost in the way a automobile fanatic can lose himself in a Maserati showroom, and I spotted a curious device that stirred in me a need I didn't realize I had.

Namely: I need a machine that makes ice pops in under 10 minutes!

I enjoy ice pops. They're not my favorite frozen treat, but they're very handy (and cheap) in a pinch. Just toss into the freezer a handful of Fla-Vor-Ice pops from the large box of ten thousand you can get at Costco and within a few hours, you're good to go. They don't have many calories (if you refrain from eating them by the dozen, as I've sometimes done), and they can be more refreshing than a glass of water.

But I realized that I wanted something more from my ice pops...

...I wanted to make more exotic frozen concoctions, but also I didn't want to wait the few hours for the things to freeze. I need my satisfaction now, dammit!

So this device I spotted at Williams Sonoma, called a Zoku, caught my eye. I can't even call it a machine, because there are no moving parts.

When my birthday rolled around a couple of weeks ago, I decided to buy it for myself. Because I've been so good to myself.

The way it works is there's some sort of gel inside the box-shaped thing, and it freezes better than just water. The top of the thing has molds for three pops, and the mold is made of a metal that conducts the cold. In short, you freeze the Zoku in advance, then you pour in your liquid, and while the thing sits on your kitchen table, BOOM! Frozen ice pops in around 10 minutes.

There's probably a scientific explanation for this, but I don't give a shit. I just want my pops now now NOW!

The Zoku works remarkably well, especially because my kids are more impatient than I am, and I can offer them ice pops for desserts on the fly, and not tell them that they have to wait three hours for them to be ready. Here are a couple of samples of my Zoku handiwork:

You can fill the mold halfway, wait for the layer to freeze, then add a second layer. This bad boy has a top layer of grape juice and a bottom layer of cranberry. If you're a little more patient...

You can add a third layer, in this case orange juice. Zoku makes a special kit that helps tilt the machine so you can make the layers look more interesting that the vertical bars above, as well as a little mini-baster thing that allows you to suck the not-yet-frozen juice in the center and replace it with cream, to make a homemade creamsicle.

I haven't tried anything that fancy yet (I also made a set with chocolate milk), though I am rather proud of this:

I fancied up this pop, made of lemonade from a juice pouch, with thinly sliced strawberries. I hate strawberries myself, but it looks cool, right?

Whenever I buy something like this, I usually am soon afflicted with buyer's remorse. But I expect to use this thing quite often over the summer with the kids and their friends.

And after the kids go to bed on a particularly hot summer evening, I'll test the Zoku to make some VodkaPops.

1 comment:

  1. I fear your VodkaPops might come out a little mushy. Unless you were to use the hollowing feature to trap a quantity of vodka inside a regular popsicle, like a Tootsie Pop. Lick, lick, lick - shot!