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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer is Officially Here

OK... maybe it's not here according to the weather man that can never seem to get anything right (I mean, light cold front? Who's he kidding? It was 88F!). But according to me, summer starts when the watermelons become available. That's right, as soon as those large, green, stripey balls of juicy goodness are available at my local grocery store, it is summer. I don't care what anyone says.

My dad would always come home from work on the weekends with a huge watermelon or two. And when I say huge, I don't mean that little 8 pound melon your kid grew in the backyard. I'm talking almost 20 pounds of the sweetest, juiciest watermelon you've ever laid lips... er... eyes on.

If we had been especially good that week, he would go out of his way to get the sought after and coveted black diamond watermelon. You have not tasted watermelon until you sink chompers into this bad boy. It was a special treat, seen in our house less than the yellow meat watermelon. Dad would always cut it in half long ways and then in quarters, that way we would all get a chunk of the heart of this wonderful fruit. I bet you've never seen three kids devour a watermelon so fast as we did, all the way down to the nasty white stuff. It took less than an hour for that watermelon to meet its demise at our hands.

But what if you don't live in an area where watermelon is as common as dirt? You go to that farmer's market or world market and you see this odd looking melon and wonder, how do I even know if it's good? Well, you knock on it, of course! Not hard, you don't want to bust it open. You want to knock just hard enough to know the elves that live inside have vacated. Just kidding. The elves never leave. Knock and see if it sounds hollow. Does it? Then it's ripe. The rind should also be firm and not squishy. If it shows any sign that it might be going bad (discolored skin, brown or dark spots, it smells nasty in that big box they put it in at the store...) don't buy it. It will just lead to disappointment. It should not be light when you pick it up. Even the small ones meant to serve one person should have some heft to it. They are, after all, full of water. Water has weight to it. A large melon that is not heavier than it looks probably didn't get enough water and won't taste good. Same with a small melon. The weight should be disproportionate to the size, just like any other melon. Once you have picked out your melon (found one like the one in the picture? Oh, boy! You're in for a treat!)

Now, unless it's marked otherwise, you probably have a red watermelon on your hands. However, if you get home and you crack that sucker open and it's yellow (OMG! WTF?!) don't worry. This is perfectly normal and it is just a yellow meat watermelon. They tend to be a bit sweeter than the red ones, but are just as delicious. Enjoy it the same way you would the red one.

Now, for those adults out there looking for a jolly good time, take a thin, sharp knife and cut a plug out of the side of your watermelon. Then take your vodka of choice, open the bottle, and stuff the open end down into the melon. Make sure you have plenty of room in the fridge, though, because this bad boy takes up a lot of room. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to serve. The vodka will soak into the melon, making it an awesome way to spend the 4th of July! But wait! Make sure the kiddies don't eat this! When serving this, cut it in half long ways and put them melon side up so the vodka doesn't leak all over the ground. Cut the melon for the kids any way you want, but make sure they don't touch the good one. :)

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No is where I show you a great little thing for your business. It's called a business card holder and is located in SuziMoose's Etsy Shop. She has plenty more than just that one, and takes custom orders. Check her out! She will most likely be in another later blog with a fuller blurb, but this was a blog about watermelons... and that's what's on her business card holder. :)

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