Used to be, on a sweaty summer's day you dashed to the store, stuck your hand in the deep-freeze and pulled out a box of factory-made pops on a stick.
Or, if you had a mother of some invention, she might stir up a pitcher of sugary Kool-Aid and pour it into a clanky metal ice-cube tray or a paper cup. And then you would wait.
And wait. What eventually froze into kiddie-colored icebergs would get kerplunked in a glass, soon to drip down your chin.
These days, the cold stuff parading on sticks is more whimsical, packed with real fruit -- even the occasional veggie -- and downright delicious.
And it's making for a hot little corner in the summer confection department.
"Popsicles are the now cupcake," crows Charity Ferreira, a former pastry chef and author of "Perfect Pops: The 50 Best Classic & Cool Treats" (Chronicle, $16.95).