You might remember my monthly watermelon carvings from last year. They included a pig, a mouth, a shark, and a hedgehog, among others. I had a lot of fun with them, but I was forced to retire my carving knife and cutting board during the winter months due to the lack of full-sized watermelon in my local grocery store.
But at long last, spring has sprung and the giant bin of full-sized watermelon has returned! So I’ve sharpened my knife and I’m ready to restart my carving adventures. The first “how to carve” adventure of the season is a watermelon hippo, which I found on the “Carvings” page of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.
- Long, oval-shaped watermelon
- Kitchen & paring knives
- Cutting board
- Dry-erase marker
- Large bowl & spoon
- Channel knife (I used the tip of a potato peeler)
- Large marshmallows
As always, start by washing your watermelon thoroughly before cutting into it. The hippo works best if you can find an oblong watermelon. I was only able to find mostly round watermelons, but I made it work.
Place the watermelon on its side and cut 1/4″-1/2″ off the yellow-spot side, being careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind. This will provide a sturdy base. Next, use the dry-erase marker to draw a mouth on the stem end of the watermelon. Cut out the mouth and scoop out the flesh inside.
Use the channel knife to add dimension and the appearance of a long nose with nostrils.
Use the rind from the wedge that was removed to form two eyes and two ears. The ears are basically tear drop shapes with a little of the outer rind carved out of the middle. The eyes look kind of like sixes (with the middle carved out to make room for the blueberry). Attach the eyes and ears with toothpicks to the top of the hippo’s head, toward the back, and place blueberries inside the eyes to cover up the toothpicks.
Last, attach two small marshmallows to the top of the mouth and two larger marshmallows to the bottom of the mouth to resemble teeth. (The small marshmallows can be cut from the larger ones.) Feel free to fill your hippo with pieces of watermelon or just leave him (her?) empty as a playful centerpiece during your next gathering.