Watermelon Sunday

Watermelon
Watermelon: A refreshing…vegetable??? Yup. Photo credit: Stephanie Verni

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to get enough watermelon this summer. While I’ve always liked watermelon, this year’s crops have been so tasty sweet that I’ve been buying watermelon every time I go to the grocery store. What I love about it most is that it’s a sweet, healthy treat that also helps to quench your thirst when it’s hot and humid.

Whether you slice it up and serve it with the rind on it or cut it up into cute little squares, watermelon adds color to your table and invites friends to come sit and enjoy.

PorchParties AmazonIn the book my dear friend Amy gave me entitled “Porch Parties,” there’s a fantastic drink recipe I’ll share with you that you can make with watermelons. Also, I’ve provided a link to Food & Wine (click here) for more delicious recipes to help quench your thirst this summer.

My former student, Courtney Hastings, is the Mar-Del Watermelon Queen. She essentially is the PR spokesperson for the Mar-Del Watermelon Association. You will see her out and about at various festivals and events in our region. She can tell you anything you need or want to know about watermelons.

My former student, Courtney Hastings, The Watermelon Queen for Mar-Del. Courtney graduated in May from Stevenson University with a degree in Business Communication. Don't let that tiara and sash fool you...she is a savvy PR pro.
My former student, Courtney Hastings, The Watermelon Queen for Mar-Del. Courtney graduated in May from Stevenson University with a degree in Business Communication. Don’t let that tiara and sash fool you…she is a savvy PR pro. Photo credit: Stephanie Verni

In case you wanted to know a few more fun facts about watermelon, I’ve gathered some of the most interesting below:

  • Watermelon does, indeed, quench your thirst. It can also quench inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
  • There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelon grown worldwide.
  • Watermelon doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C, and is a wonderful source of potassium.
  • Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene, a powerful antioxident that fights off icky stuff in your body.
  • Believe it or not, watermelon is a vegetable, not a fruit! It is related to cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins.
  • Every single part of a watermelon is edible, including the seeds and the rind.

And now, the recipe for Watermelon Cooler!

Watermelon Cooler from PORCH PARTIES (this drink is featured on the cover of the book!)

4 cups 2-inch cubes watermelon

1 cup Vodka, chilled

2 tablespoons honey (see note)

Garnish: Small Watermelon Wedges with Rind (optional)

Freeze the watermelon chunks in a zip-lock bag until just frozen, about 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and add to blender. Pour in the Vodka and honey. Process until blended and pour into frosted cocktail or jelly glasses. Garnish as desired.

*Note: Use standard honey (like Clover) instead of a dark or other strongly flavored version. Otherwise, it will change the drink’s flavor in a disappointing way.

Hope you enjoy your Watermelon Sunday!

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