I have been craving watermelon like mad lately. Maybe it’s because I keep seeing pictures of it on Pinterest. Or maybe it’s just ’cause we’ve had so many hot (I mean like, dog days of summer hot) days in the Midwest this spring. Whatever the reason, I want it now, and I want it bad.
I know that soon I’ll be seeing it in the grocery store, and my son Max and I will begin our annual tradition of watermelon bargaining. You see, I will only buy watermelon when it’s in season. I refuse to buy it before I see it at the farmer’s market. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here until about late July, but the grocery stores start selling watermelon in May or June. The wait drives Max crazy! It’s kind of like embarking on cross-country car trip, and your kid starts saying, “Are we there yet?” before you’ve even backed out of the driveway. Max will say, “Are they in season yet? How about now? Now? NOW?!”
The thing is, in season, especially local, especially with the seeds, watermelon just tastes sooooooooo much better. It’s a world of difference. And for those of you who think I’m depriving my son, let me set your mind at ease. When we see that first watermelon appear at the farmer’s market, it’s on. We eat almost nothing but watermelon for the next 4-6 weeks. We eat so much watermelon that we nearly explode. We eat so much watermelon, our skin starts to take on a pink (er than usual) hue. We eat watermelon until we can’t stand the thought of watermelon anymore, and couldn’t be convinced to eat it to save our lives. That is, until the following spring when we start to crave it all over again.
I personally think it’s a lovely process.
Once for a birthday party I did a very fancy watermelon arrangement.
If I had a summer birthday, I would honestly be more than happy if this replaced my usual cake:
Max wanted a “turtle pirate” cake for his birthday last year. I think he would have been happy with either of these:
Who knew there were so many things you could do with a watermelon? If you do a search for “watermelon art” or “watermelon carvings”, you’ll find some crazy sculptural work, even faces. If you go to the carving page on watermelon.org, you’ll see all sorts of ideas and instructions for interesting ways to serve watermelon. I can’t wait to try some this summer, or maybe come up with my own design!
If you do, or have done any watermelon art, feel free to post your url in the comments. I’d love to see what you’ve done!