Ice Cold Melons
The hot sultry days of summer are right around the corner. For many, this means a time of picnics, reunions and a whole lot of family time which usually involves food. Where I live, one of our favorites is watermelon. Nothing satisfies our hunger and thirst as a slice or a bowl of ice cold watermelon. Someone once asked me once,"Do you know the difference between a watermelon and fifteen minutes?" Of course being a dumb hick, I answered,"No" The answer wasn't what I expected, "a sweet pee", I surmise a play on words meant to be be humorous and yes, I had to agree though it did not cause me to do a belly laugh. One of my friends called watermelons.'piss bombs" because after eating a healthy portion of watermelon the kidneys seem to go into high gear. Watermelons are usually plentiful here in Western North Carolina with steady flow of fresh melons arriving from Georgia and South Carolina as well as other states where the climate is conducive for growing.
When I was a youngster,watermelon were a special treat. My dad loved watermelon and he would buy them and put one in my mama's big tin wash tub filled with ice. We made it a family outing when the melon was cut after having cooled for hours in that old number 10 tub. I remember digging in, face first and attacking the redness. Daddy liked to put salt on his watermelon, something that I also picked up. The salt, though not good for our heath, seems to enhance the flavor to my liking.
In recent years, the health benefits of watermelon have come to the forefront. Watermelons are high in lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient which is important for cardiovascular health. Another substance found in watermelon is citrulline, an amino acid which is converted by our kidneys into arginine, another amino acid which improves blood to flow. The watermelon also has many other nutrients beneficial to our bodies.
Watermelons are not only tasty and healthy for our bodies but at the hands of someone with creativity, can be transformed into some interesting novelty creations. My wife is a creative person and for many years has made and decorated countless birthday and wedding cakes. In recent years, she has been asked to make watermelon baskets for baby showers, wedding receptions and other social functions where a melon table centerpiece is needed.
The watermelon is carved and sculpted with the red portion removed by a special tool down to the white portion of the rind. The one inch balls of melon, along with other fruits;strawberries, grapes,blueberries, cantaloup, honeydew melon,pineapple and banana are mixed and place back inside the completed ornamental melon. The finished product is not only beautiful but tastes delicious getting rave reviews from everyone.