uses for a watermelon

“You’re doing it wrong.”

“What do you mean? I’m spitting it, aren’t I?” I wiped the red drool off my chin.

“Sort of.”  My seven-year-old brother picked up another piece of watermelon.  “More like this,” he said, right before he spat a shiny black seed ten feet away to land in the dust behind our house.

No drool.

He wasn’t even trying very hard.

“Isn’t that what I did?”

I knew it wasn’t and I stomped my feet in frustration.  We’d been at this for a while and – even though I was two years older – I sucked at spitting.

How could I grow up with nine-uncles-and-all-their-friends and still not be any good at this?

Do not suggest it is because I am a girl.

It may even be true, but that was never an excuse for the things I thought I couldn’t do, although it was an excuse for the things I wasn’t allowed to do.  Funny, that.

I never did get good at spitting watermelon seeds.  And now that I like to make things to eat or drink with watermelon, I am partial to the seedless ones anyway.

(Stupid spitting contests.)

This is a fruit salad porcupine my sister, Catherine, took to a potluck picnic with her Swedish colleagues.  Other people (moi?) might simply cut up fruit and pile it in a bowl.  Catherine’s salad is an art-form.  She’s uber-creative that way.

A couple of years ago I tried a recipe for watermelon margaritas with spices on the rims of the glasses.  Watermelon margaritas FTW!

And my current favourite watermelon dish is this refreshing salad.  (Really, when isn’t watermelon refreshing?  As long as it’s cold, it’s fabulous.)

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

All of the amounts are rough and to taste.

One personal watermelon *see note

4 oz. crumbled feta

2 tbsp. finely minced red onion

2 tbsp. finely chopped mint

2 oz. hazlenut oil

juice of 1/2 lime (or more, to taste)

pinch of sea salt

Cut the watermelon fruit into cubes or make pretty balls with a melon baller.  (Okay, yes, snicker if you must.) I used a baller (more snickering, I get it) and then scooped out the extra bits into the salad.  Or maybe into my mouth – the scraps weren’t as pretty as the balls, but every bit as tasty.  (All right, enough with the snickering now.)

Add the feta, onion, and mint.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the hazlenut oil, lime juice, and sea salt.  If you don’t have hazlenut oil, any clean tasting oil – including olive – will do.  Because there are so few ingredients here, be sure you like the taste of the oil you are using.

Pour dressing over the salad, mix gently, and chill until just before serving.  Garnish with mint.

*Personal watermelon? I know, right?.  But that was how Trader Joe’s marketed the little guy.  It was maybe a hand-span across.  When I brought it home, Ed said it looked like a cannonball.  We even fantasized (briefly) about using it as such against intruders, but I hate to waste food.  So, cannonball-size watermelon.  Or just a portion of a larger one.

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