The end of the school year creates a frenzy of extras: gifts exchanged, cards to write, tearful goodbyes, last-minute parties, conferences, recitals, library books to return, nerves frayed.

By the end of school, I crave at least a week of quiet with my children nearby, catching up on sleep, eating well, admiring stacks of schoolwork and generally slowing things down to a pre-summer snail pace.

We are just a few days from the end of first and fourth grade in our house, and for the past couple of months, things have been moving fast. Even counting the Omer did not slow things down, and our Shavuot was a quick bowl of school-night ice cream.

But in just a couple of days, we will all be poking around our farm with strawberries to pick, potatoes to dig and jars of colored pencils and markers freshly returned from school to fill our days. We will also be trying out some new recipes.

Popsicles are almost synonymous with summer. I recently treated my kids (read: myself) to a new set of colorful silicone popsicle molds. They create the push-up-style popsicle, and I like that they are not made of plastic.

Popsicles are easy to personalize with endless variations. We have made a few batches using our own strawberries and various herbs. Personally, I love the sweet and tart combination of strawberry and lemon. And since they are individual molds, kids can keep making variations until they come up with their own favorite recipes.

Farmers markets are opening up around the Washington area, and strawberries are ready. I wish your family an easy transition into summer with lots of calm days ahead. Buy lots of strawberries from your favorite farmers. This recipe can use two quarts alone, and you will still have lots left over for snacking!