FEATURED WATERMELON CAKE: I’D EAT IT STEM AND ALL!

March 20th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

In my monthly search for images of watermelon cakes, I’m consistently amazed by what some people are able to create out of flour, sugar and a little icing. This month’s featured watermelon cake is a good example.

It comes from the baking genius behind the website SweetDreamsCakeApp.com. Not only does the outside of the cake look incredibly realistic – the stem on the end looks so real! – but the inside looks great, too.

“I began to wonder if I could make the inside (of a cake) look like a real watermelon, as well as the outside,” said the baker in a blog entry about the process. “Then I took it even further and decided that if it is going to look like a watermelon, it should also taste like a watermelon.”

For those of you interested in recreating the artistry, the blog entry includes step-by-step instructions and photos. I’m pretty sure I won’t be attempting to create it, but I sure wouldn’t mind tasting it!

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ALL ABOARD THE S.S. WATERMELON!

March 18th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

If I had a nickel for every time I felt the urge to convert a hollowed-out watermelon into a remote-controlled boat, I’d have about 15 cents. One tech-savvy watermelon lover acted on that urge and did exactly that. Even better, they plopped their creation in a backyard pool and captured its maiden voyage on video.

This video makes me want to revisit my years as a remote-controlled airplane enthusiast and find a way to make my favorite fruit fly. I’d need a pretty big motor (after all, watermelons are heavy), but I think I could do it.

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THIS IS WHY I CAN SLEEP THROUGH A ROOT CANAL

March 14th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

Throughout my entire life, I’ve never had a problem falling asleep.

My mom likes to tell a story about how, as a two-year-old, I slept through the worst typhoon in Guam history. My wife is jealous of my ability to fall fast asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. My talent for snoozing even served me well during a six-year stint in the Navy onboard a noisy, overheated submarine.

That said, today’s blog entry won’t be helpful to me, but it might be helpful for those of you who find yourself tossing and turning on a regular basis.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania spent countless hours analyzing the correlation between sleep and nutrition – including data contained in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – and found that people who sleep better tend to eat foods that are high in lycopene, Vitamin C, and water.

Guess which food is a fantastic source of all three of those key ingredients. That’s right, watermelon.

A MensHealth.com article on the topic notes that people who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night tend to be the healthiest. The article also points out that “people who ate a more varied diet were more likely to be “normal” sleepers (about 18 foods versus 14 in the shortest sleepers).”

I can’t say for sure if my love of watermelon is responsible for my peaceful slumber, but it’s nice to know that A) I’m getting enough sleep and B) I’m eating foods that might help me continue that trend. Now, if those University of Pennsylvania researchers can figure out what I can eat to make me snore less, my wife might be able to sleep a little more peacefully, too.

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SECOND SLICE: HOW TO GROW THE WORLD’S LARGEST WATERMELON

March 12th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

Awhile back, I posted a video of the world’s largest watermelon being harvested. It made me think I’d like to put my green(ish) thumb to the test by growing my own record breaker. So I did some research.

Turns out, growing a world-record watermelon like the current record holder above isn’t easy. The biggest weigh over 100 pounds, with many weighing over 200 pounds. You have to pay a lot of special attention to it, being sure to plant the seeds at the right time, weeding the area regularly, and giving it just the right amount of fertilizer and water. Plus, the weather conditions for the year need to be just right in order to help it reach its full potential. Watermelons in general prefer warmer temperatures and the longer growing seasons of the south, which also has higher temperatures, make growing giant watermelons easier.

But not just any watermelon seeds will do. Some places, like this one, specialize in selling giant watermelon seeds in varieties like the Carolina Cross, Black Diamond and the Georgia Rattlesnake. I personally have never tried growing a watermelon (I’m more of an eater than a farmer), but this sounds like a lot of fun … even if all you do is try to top your personal best each year!

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RECIPE: WATERMELON HAM WRAPS

March 8th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

Lately, I’ve found myself eating an unusually high number of tortilla shells, which is one of the things that made me want to feature this recipe.

I use tortillas for the usual soft tacos, but I’ve also put them to use as pizza crusts, in a layered Mexican casserole (similar to lasagna noodles) and in breakfast burritos. And now, I’ll use them to make these watermelon ham wraps. You can put whatever you’d like in these wraps, so feel free to deviate from the recipe below.

WATERMELON HAM WRAPS

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon chive and onion spreadable cream cheese

1 large, burrito-size low-fat tortilla

1 ounce thinly sliced low-fat ham (or turkey)

1 lettuce leaf

other vegetables as desired (avocado, bell pepper, etc.)

1 seeded watermelon spear, about

1/2-inch thick, 1-inch wide and 9-inches long

INSTRUCTIONS

Spread cream cheese on tortilla, covering to edges. Place ham across center of tortilla; top with lettuce leaf, making sure edges to be rolled are not covered. Place watermelon spear on lettuce just off center. Roll tortilla over watermelon spear; continue rolling, tucking in ham and lettuce. Cream cheese will help tortilla stay rolled. Slice wrap into half inch to three-quarters of an inch pieces. Fasten pieces with wooden pick if needed.

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VINTAGE WATERMELON: ONE VERY HAPPY FAMILY

March 6th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

I don’t know much about this photo, but based on the hair styles, the clothing, and the pen in the pocket of the guy in the front, I’d estimate it was taken some time in early August 1956.

I’m not sure if this photo is a candid shot taken by a family member or something a little more professionally done. Everyone seems way too happy for it to be candid, but it was the summer of 1956, which was a pretty happy time, so that might explain the smiles. The image also reminds me of Norman Rockwell’s iconic “Freedom from Want” (the Thanksgiving dinner painting).

As a watermelon lover, I can appreciate this family’s desire to protect their picnic table by laying down what’s left of the Sunday paper before digging into their juicy snacks. The only time I’ve ever done that is when I carve watermelon. It worked quite well, if I remember correctly, although I used a Tuesday paper.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but is that a salt shaker at the end of the table near dad’s right hand? I’m pretty sure it is. Again, I’m not a salt-on-my-watermelon kind of guy, but it’s nice to see evidence that the practice was alive and well in the middle of the 20th century.

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MARCH PRIZE: THE WATERMELON PILLOW

March 4th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

I’ve never had a dream about watermelon. Actually, one time, I dreamt that my head turned into a giant watermelon and a hoard of hungry picnickers were chasing me around with carving knives. So I guess I have dreamt about watermelon, I’ve just never had a good dream about watermelon.

If I took a nap on this month’s prize – the plush watermelon pillow above – I might have a peaceful slumber, though. It’s handmade by Etsy seller Winter Petals, and is made with fleece fabric and stuffed with polyester. It measures about 17 inches long by roughly 8 inches tall.

What would I dream about if I rested my head on this pillow? Hard to say. It might be nice to dream about planting a magic watermelon seed that grows a giant watermelon the size of a school bus. I’d cut a hole in the end and eat my way to the center. Over the course of a few weeks, I’d devour the entire thing, leaving only the outer rind. Once the inside was cleaned out, I’d convert the watermelon into my new home, which would drive my neighbor (who lives inside a giant pineapple) into a jealous rage.

Or maybe, I’d just dream about being a baseball player.

I’ll choose one comment at random from all the comments left on the blog this month to receive this comfy keepsake. Good luck … and sweet dreams!

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RECIPE: WATERMELON-STACKED PANCAKES

February 27th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

I posted this recipe previously here on What About Watermelon (although the one below is revised slightly, replacing the maple syrup with whipped cream), but like many of the recipes I post, I didn’t actually make and taste it myself – until now.

I’m not sure why I’ve never made it. It’s not like I haven’t had the opportunity or the ingredients. I make pancakes two or three times a month (almost always on a Saturday morning) and I have watermelon in my fridge pretty much all the time.

The original recipe called for maple syrup, but I liked the way the watermelon tasted with the vanilla milkshake I made earlier this month, so I swapped out the syrup for whipped cream. If you’d like, feel free to keep the syrup. Either way, it’ll be a breakfast you won’t forget!

              

WATERMELON-STACKED BREAKFAST PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter
3 6-inch hot pancakes
1 1/2 cups minced seedless watermelon
Whipped cream

INSTRUCTIONS

Place a hot pancake on a warmed plate, top with a layer of whipped cream and sprinkle with watermelon. Continue the process with the second and third pancakes. Enjoy.

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FEATURED ANIMAL EATING WATERMELON: LIONS, TIGERS LEOPARDS AND COUGARS

February 25th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

They say cats are finicky eaters, and that may be true, but the ferocious felines in the video above sure know a good thing when they see it. As you can see, lions, tigers, leopards and cougars will go to great lengths to get their paws on a juicy watermelon.

To be honest, I was a little surprised by their taste for fruit because I always pictured the big cats as strictly meat eaters. Turns out, cats really are carnivores, but they sometimes eat plants and other vegetation. I would have thought that would make them omnivores, but I guess not.

Either way, they sure seem to like watermelon. I’m not really sure if they like eating the watermelon or if they just like playing with it. The leopard around the one-minute mark is the only cat that seems to enjoy eating the watermelon. The rest just seem content to bat it around until they get bored.

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TOM WILLETT SHOWS YOU HOW TO EAT A WATERMELON

February 22nd, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

If you’re not sure how to eat a watermelon, Tom Willett has taken the guesswork out of this sometimes confusing activity by creating the nine-minute tutorial video above. The video isn’t intended to be funny but, in many ways, it really is. Among Tom’s most memorable tips:

Half a watermelon is equal to one serving – That’s not entirely true. Technically, a single serving of watermelon is two cups, but I’ve been known to eat entire watermelons in one sitting, so I’m not going to argue with Tom’s suggestion.

The correct way to eat a watermelon is with a spoon– Tom says the “fork cartel has been trying to use dangerous forks when eating watermelon … in an attempt to sell forks” but a spoon is a much better choice. I agree with him on this one. Spoons do a much better job of scooping the flesh. Also, forks are terrible at holding watermelon juice.

Salt should not be placed on watermelon– Tom claims that salt “takes away from the sweet taste” of watermelon, but he’s wrong about that. I’m not a fan of salt on watermelon, but it’s a proven fact that a dash of salt can actually enhance the intensity of sweetness in certain foods.

Those are just a few tips from the first four minutes of the lesson. Later in the video, Tom tosses marshmallows and peanut butter into the watermelon (that’s right, peanut butter). I’ve never tried either of those additions with my watermelon, but I might give the peanut butter a whirl in the very near future.

If you watch the tutorial, even if it’s just for the entertainment value, don’t miss Tom’s awesome 360-degree scooping technique demonstrated around the 1:30 mark.

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