Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sommer's Secret Way to Cut a Watermelon

I LOVE Watermelon. It's a fact. Watermelon = Summer time.  I get a little giddy when I think of eating the yummy juicy COLD fruit. Actually did you know it's actually a vegetable closely related to the tomato?!  If you think about it, it makes sense it kinda looks like a green tomato and they have similar seeds inside.

Fruit or Vegetable I love Watermelon.

I remember feeling like a  "big kid" when you could eat watermelon like our dad did, in one big round slice. On a plate. With a fork. (mental note: ask dad why he ate it that way...cuz I have NO idea where he learned to eat it that way).

Some people eat watermelon with a shaker of salt (weird). Most eat it in slices (normal). Thanks to pinterest I've learned tons of other ways to prepare it... balled in a cut out baby basinette, cut up like a jack-o-lantern, on skewers, or grilled drizzled with honey (fancy). My korean dramas have taught me to eat it in thin slices with a tiny fork. I've even since learned that some people eat pickled watermelon rind and a friend of mine cooks the rind in a soup!

This all got me to thinking what would be an easier way to cut slice a watermelon? I realized that I've never really been "formally" taught how to cut a watermelon. My Navajo Grandpa John would eat all his melons under the shady pine trees at his Crystal, NM home.

He would cut random slices off with an old pearing knife and eat the fruit at room temperature. This was always such a refreshing treat on hot Summer days.

Mostly I remember eating it chilled.  Sliced up and then cut into wedges. Not the full half wedge like on cartoons or stickers but more like the 1/4 slice wedges.

Anyway, I like my watermelon super COLD, seeded or seedless, peeled and cut up into chunks. I have "invented" a "new" way to cut up a watermelon to my personal specifications (at least I like ot think I invented it). Here's my secret to cutting a watermelon.

Disclaimer: I'm sure someone else discovered it and I haven't thought to really look it up on internet, but here is how I slice it.

1. Prepare your workspace.Use a big clean cutting board and sharp knife.

Sommer's Secret: I like to get a grocery bag ready for the rinds to go into for quick clean up. I set it right next to my cutting surface all ready to go.

2. Wash your watermelon (there's no need to dry it, unless you feel like it ). I really didn't start washing my watermelons until more recently.

 Honestly, I had never heard of it before. Admittedly I've become more of a germ-a-phobe in my recent years but really you have no idea what's been on the outside of your melon. In this case, my tiny Thai watermelon was given to me by my father-in-law and it took an unfortunate spill during transport from the car to my apartment so it actually has a small split in the side (you can see the split in the later pictures).

Sommer's Secret: use a cutting board with a small groove all around the edge to keep juices somewhat contained. However, if you have a juicy fruit there isn't much you can do except for a well placed towel to catch drips.

3. Lay your melon on it's side and slice off one end. (can you see the split?)

 4. Position your melon cut side down. This first cut keeps your melon stable.

Sommer's Secret: There's really no need to remove the label since you are gonna cut it off anyway.

5.  Place cut scraps into your "trash" bag as you go.

Note: This picture looks like I'm wasting a bunch of melon. I assure you I'm not as it was a super slim cut. I ended up spooning out the fruit and eating it, after all the Thai watermelons are mere "snacks" and there must be a treat for my hard work right?

 6. " Peel" the watermelon by making small slices all around the melon.

Sommer's Secret: Make short slices to save on waste. You can always go back and clean up any rind left on the fruit at the end. 

Once the rind has been sliced off all the way around you can lay it on it's side and slice off the rind from the top and bottom edges.

 Clean as you go....

7. Cut the peeled fruit in half.

8. Place each half cut side down.

9. Slice or cube to your heart's content.

Hmmmm...My peeled and sliced watermelon looks mysteriously  similar to the melons you see on those fancy fruit trays at buffets....

8. After the melon has been cut into the desired shape, De-seed each piece by running the blade of your knife against the embedded seed as you pick up each piece to put into your serving dish.  

Sommer's Secret: Using the edge of you knife blade to scrape off the seeds will result in a little fruit loss. In my case this melon was a little ripe in the middle (or possibly bruised by the fall it took) so it was no biggie for me.

 9. Clean up you sticky mess by sliding the discarded parts into you little trash bag.

Tie and toss. 

10. Enjoy!
Hoku's first taste of watermelon and first time using her Bumbo table top.
You haven't really "lived" until you've had watermelon juice dripping all over you.