Monday, August 28, 2006

Watermelon Report

I'm trying to be a better blogger and that means giving you a glimpse of how I try to apply the tasks suggested by the "plant of the day" in my own life. Today, watermelon day, I waited until 8 PM to purchase a watermelon but then I used a tip from the Watermelon Promotion Board to choose one at my local natural foods grocery store, Rainbow Grocery: I picked one that had a prominent yellow spot, which indicates the place the melon was resting on the ground while ripening under the sun.

It was very heavy (I paid .69 a pound for it and it cost me $9.20) although it was the smallest watermelon in the bin. Watermelons are supposedly 92% water. That was pretty obvious once I started cutting it up. I had watermelon juice all over my counter and the floor.

I tried using my friend Bob's clever step technique but I hadn't observed him carefully enough and didn't bother to go back to the Watermelon Promotion Board's website for instructions. Instead I used a technique similar to the one I use on pineapples (cutting the fruit into wedges, then slicing close to the rind with one cut, and then making vertical cuts down and horizontal cuts across) to get cubes. I put some of the cubes in my food processor and made juice that I poured into an ice cube tray. We'll see how that goes tomorrow.

Meanwhile the stickiness of the watermelon juice all over my kitchen reminded me of my adventure yesterday. My daughter and I went to the last day of the Camlann Medieval Faire which is out near Carnation.
It's one of our favorite summer time activities. We've been attending since Shaw was 14 when we worked at a feast for Roger Shell, the eccentric genius who created an authentic 13th century medieval village just an hour outside of Seattle (and he gets to live there year round). Shaw has been a serving wench in previous years at the Bors Hede Inn on the premises and we usually attend one of Camlann's Yule feasts during the Winter holildays.

Anyway it was not winter on August 27, the last day of the fair. The temperature was around 83 and we were both perspiring in our medieval gowns. Shaw was wearing a linen chemise which she had embroidered, and a homespun linen gown that she dyed red, with a blue band at the hem. She had on her knife, her belt and her leather bag. I was wearing a much less authentic polyester fabric green gown with blue sleeves so I rented a slate blue surcoat, made of corduroy, from the clothiers shop, to wear over it.

At one point, I needed more money (as the merchants at the fair did not have the equipment to use my ATM card) so I went down to the local store to get cash. I was feeling self-conscious and sweaty in my medieval attire, especially when I pulled into the parking lot and saw it was full of adolescent local boys who were flirting with a few local adolescent girls. I slunk sheepishly into the little store and purchased a Pepsi-Cola, thinking I would get cash back, but that wasn't an option. I had to use the ATM, and pay a $1.25 service fee.

I did that and took my Pepsi out to the Geo Metro (one of my favorite cars) I had borrowed from my friend Michael, took a quick guzzle of the Pepsi and got in. I made a rather abrupt turn out of the parking lot (still embarassed by my costume and trying to get out of there quickly) and the Pepsi flew out of the center divider, got shaken up and fizzed all over the passenger well of Michael's car. Naturally I was anxious to clean it up, which meant re-parking and repeated trips into the little store, still broiling in my double layers of medieval clothing (how did they get through summers?) and perceived humiliation (some truck drivers arrived next). It took me about six trips back and forth before I had done all I coud do.

And why this story to go with watermelons? Because the watermelon I cut up at home was as sticky as the Pepsi in the car. I went back to the watermelon site to try to get an idea of how much natural sugar is in a watermelon but couldn't find it. Instead I found this web site which lists many different kinds of watermelon varieties. Now I wonder which kind I got.

1 comment:

Waverly Fitzgerald said...

I tried making a watermelon smoothie this morming. It was a bit more watery than I like my smoothies, but the watermelon did give a wonderful, almost nutty flavor to the smoothie that surprised me. I used a peach-flavored yogurt. Tomorrow I'm going to try the recipe I found on the Watermelon web site which suggested lemon yogurt and cinnamon flavoring.