Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind

WIN_20160420_175431Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind is an old school recipe which hails back to the Great Depression, when nothing was wasted. Depression era cooks were creative, not because it was chic but because it was necessary. Children love the sweet, tangy taste of these pickles right from the jar. Grown-ups love them as bacon wrapped party snacks, broiled and enjoyed while hot. However you enjoy them, I can guarantee that once you’ve sampled Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind, you’ll never look at a whole watermelon quite the same way again!

WIN_20160418_191438Ingredients (Makes about 4 pint jars)

Rind from one large watermelon

1/2 cup salt

6 cups cold water Continue reading

Frozen Watermelon Sangria

WIN_20150725_123400Gossiping with my little sister over cocktails isn’t something I get to do everyday – she lives almost 700 miles away, probably because I was bossy as a child.  🙂  In all seriousness, rare afternoons with my little sis are fun! On our most recent visit, we enjoyed this Frozen Watermelon Sangria. I think you’ll enjoy it, too!

WIN_20150725_122643Ingredients (Makes 2 jumbo servings)

2 baby watermelon (about the size of a large grapefruit)

1 cup of fruity, dry red wine

1/4 cup triple sec

WIN_20150725_1225511/2 lemon (peel included), cut in small chunks

crushed ice

citrus slices for garnish

WIN_20150725_123255Directions

Step 1) Set watermelons on a countertop to see how they naturally balance. Cut a thin slice off of the top (parallel to the countertop) of each watermelon. Carefully scoop out the insides, placing the watermelon flesh in a blender. DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY – if you accidentally puncture the watermelon rind, you can’t use the rind as a serving cup!

Step 2) Add wine, triple sec, and lemon to the blender. Add crushed ice to fill the blender, and blend until the mixture resembles a pink slush. If mixture is too thick, add a bit of water, orange juice, or wine. If mixture is too thin, add more ice.

Step 3) Pour mixture carefully into watermelon shells. Garnish with citrus slices (and an adorable little umbrella if you have them on hand) and serve immediately!

…and little sis, about that Play-Doh I made you eat as a child… sorry about that…  😉

 

Watermelon Lime Cooler

WIN_20150529_105252What’s with the food industry’s obsession with fake watermelon? You know what I’m talking about… lipstick-colored watermelon sherbets and sorbets, cloyingly sweet and perfumed watermelon bubblegum, and powdered drink mixes containing a dozen different ingredients not found in nature. These products seem to grow in popularity during the summer months, when REAL watermelon is available! It just doesn’t make any sense.

Try this instead: buy an actual, real watermelon. Cut it in half, scoop out the delicious fruit, and puree it in a blender (this should be done in small batches). Then, freeze the puree in ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can pop out the cubes, freeze them in a bag, and use them all summer in delicious beverages! I’ll even confess to freezing extra watermelon for “emergency” summer drinks in the dead of winter. True story.

To make today’s Watermelon Lime Cooler, simply puree 1/2 of a lime (with or without the peel, it’s up to you), 6 cubes of frozen watermelon puree, and 1/4 cup of cold water. That’s IT – for about 10 seconds of effort, you get a refreshing glass of real summer flavor, complete with fiber, vitamin C, and beneficial lycopene. Need something a little sweeter? Add a teaspoon of marmalade before you blend the ingredients together. Enjoy!

Watermelon Coolers and Wartburg Castle

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Wartburg Castle, located in central Germany, is an amazing sight to see.  Originally built in the eleventh century, Wartburg Castle was in a near constant state of active inhabitation and renovation until the early twentieth century.  Wow!  The most famous inhabitant of Wartburg Castle wasn’t a count or a prince, but rather a sixteenth century monk seeking refuge under an assumed name.  In a tucked away room in Wartburg Castle, Martin Luther produced the first hand-written translation of the Bible from Latin into German.  Even five hundred years later, Luther pilgrims continue to flock to the castle.

What does this story have to do with the watermelon cooler pictured above, you ask?  Well, consider that Wartburg Castle is perched on a cliff 1,350 feet above the town of Eisenach.  Here is a view from the top:

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To preserve both the ecology of the cliff and the historic integrity of the castle, visitors are not permitted to drive to the castle.  The hike to the top is steep – I mean STEEP – and I happened to visit on a rather toasty summer day.  Exploring the castle exterior (free of charge) was very worth the hike, as you can see from the photos, below:

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It was a lovely afternoon, but after trekking back down from the castle, I felt a bit as if I had fallen into a moat full of syrup.  Not a refreshing feeling!  Germany, as we’ve discussed in earlier posts, is a nation committed to energy conservation (much more so than the US, in any event).  Air conditioning at the foot of the cliff was in short supply.  Watermelons and mineral water, however, were readily available… the combination is far more delicious and an all-around better idea than a blast of toxic Freon.  😉

Feeling toasty?  Simply cut a few small chunks of watermelon and freeze solid.  Plunk them in pairs into tall glasses of sparkling mineral water, relax, and enjoy.  You might feel refreshed enough to climb up to your nearest neighborhood castle!