the food: Watermelon Aquas Fresca
the song:"Watermelon Dream" Guy Clark
When you're in need of some summer inspiration, there's nothing like a comically large watermelon. Our friend somehow acquired a free gazillion pound* watermelon that subsequently spurred a cookout last weekend with ten of our nearest and dearest. I'm so sorry I don't have a picture of this beast to share, but to give you an idea of the size, we had to cut it with a special Japanese blade that is meant to cut through wood. Sorry to my step-dad, who gave me the tool. I know that's not the way the blade is intended to be used! But does it really surprise you that I would use it on food?
After the charcoal smoke cleared, the samurai sword was sheathed, and the watermelon was wiped off our sticky hands, there was a little bit left over. To be more specific, we had 2 huge bowls of leftover watermelon after feeding it to everyone at the party and giving some to our neighbor. Further inspiration for me, who hates to throw anything away. Help me out google...What do you do with leftover watermelon?
The first step in most suggestions seems to be to juice it. It takes a little work because of course you have to de-seed the melon. But just think of the satisfaction of turning two huge salad bowls of something into 8 cups of pink. Think of all the refrigerator space you'll clear up! Think of your blender!
Ok, so maybe that doesn't excite you like it does to me.
So now what? Well, now you have a lot of watermelon juice. And from here the possibilities are endless. As I was juicing it, I couldn't help but think of no-bake strawberry pie and wonder how a watermelon pie would be. You would probably need more sugar unless your watermelon was over-ripe. There are lots of good ideas out there for everything from watermelon jam to sorbet to watermelon popsicles. The popsicles sound especially appealing to me, probably because of all the time spent with the little ones. At the daycare, very few things excited the toddlers more than making popsicles. Well, maybe bubbles.
The husband and I have been enjoying the simplicity of the watermelon juice with a little citrus (squeeze of orange, splash of lemonade...whatever you have on hand) and just a touch of grown-up. We've been using vodka to make our boozy aquas fresca, although I think rum or champagne would also be good. I thought we'd be in watermelon juice for weeks, but we've managed to put quite a dent in it with a simple summer drink. If you wanted to get super fancy and make this a full blown cocktail, adding a little muddled basil and cucumber (in the style of The Highball) would take it over the top.
No real recipe for this one...I'm just planting the seed. Have a great weekend!