TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS AND A TASTY WATERMELON VIDEO

August 5th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

picToday’s entry offers a hodgepodge of information and updates. It’s a watermelon buffet of sorts, which is a lot like a recurring dream I have.

The first announcement is about the 2013 Watermelon Carving Contest. The entry period has ended (thank you to everyone who submitted carvings!) and the judging panel now has the difficult task of choosing which entries will win the first, second, and third place prizes in each of our five categories. Stay tuned for an entry later this month with an announcement about the winners and an opportunity to vote for your favorite carving to help determine the $500 People’s Choice winner.

The second announcement is about our July weekly prize winners. A big thanks to everyone who commented on the blog in July and made last month the best month EVER here on What About Watermelon. I chose four comments at random to win the weekly prizes, and the winners are:

 

This last item isn’t really an announcement, but a tasty video clip from the Today Show. In it, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman shows off a few recipes using watermelon, including spicy Thai watermelon soup and a watermelon salad. Enjoy!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted in General | 3 Comments »

HAPPY NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY! (AND A PRIZE!)

August 3rd, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

picJuly is behind us, which means National Watermelon Month is over. While that doesn’t make me happy, I’m generally okay with it because today is National Watermelon Day!

To celebrate this delicious occasion, I ate three wedges of watermelon for breakfast and I’m wearing my lucky watermelon socks. Should I be wearing socks with sandals and shorts? Probably not, but it’s National Watermelon Day and they’re the only article of watermelon clothing I own.

If I had other watermelon-themed clothing to wear, I would. And if I were wearing watermelon-themed clothing, I’d probably want to protect it with an apron while working in the kitchen. This month’s prize – a watermelon apron – would definitely help.

The “Powered by watermelon” apron ($28 on Amazon.com) slips over your head and ties at the waist, and even includes two pouches in the front. The apron is great for grilling or just whipping up dinner in the kitchen. It would also come in handy while carving watermelon, which can be a pretty messy activity. Trust me, I know.

I’ll choose one comment at random from all the comments left on the blog this month to receive this protective prize. To get the conversation started, what would you store in the two pouches in the front of the apron? If it were me, I’d fill one pouch with gummy candy and the other with dog biscuits. And guess who’d be the most popular guy in the house with kids and dogs? That’s right, the guy in the watermelon apron.

Posted in General | 10 Comments »

WATERMELON OREOS? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

July 30th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

oreo2

As a watermelon lover, I’m naturally drawn to just about anything watermelon flavored. That includes watermelon candy, watermelon drinks, watermelon baked goods and watermelon ice cream. So when a friend of mine recently posted a picture of the new watermelon Oreos on his Facebook page, I knew I had to have them. (I believe my exact words in my comment on his photo were “I want those RIGHT NOW!!”)

Not every reaction to his Facebook post was as positive as mine. In fact, most people were a little skeptical about the new concoction. Can’t say I blame them. After all, Oreo is a classic chocolate-cookie-meets-vanilla-filling treat. If you alter that formula in any way – especially with a bold move like a watermelon flavor – you’re bound to get some backlash.

But I like to keep an open mind when it comes to new foods, so I went to my local grocery store that same night in search of the new cookies. Four grocery stores later, I still couldn’t find them. Turns out, they’re mainly distributed in southern markets (my friend is from Florida). I was crushed, until my friend agreed to ship me a package in exchange for a shipment of “some sort of Pennsylvania snack.” (I later discovered that the cookies were available only in Target stores – I didn’t check there.)

When my watermelon Oreos arrived in the mail a few days ago, I could hardly contain my excitement. With a tall glass of milk in hand, I settled in for a taste test.

oreo1

The verdict? They were surprisingly good! Unlike other watermelon-flavored snacks, the Oreos didn’t have an overwhelmingly “artificial” watermelon taste. In fact, they didn’t even smell like watermelon. The flavor was refreshingly light – like the watermelon had been mixed with the cream filling – and not overpowering. Oreo also substituted the normal chocolate cookie for a vanilla one, which was a wise choice.

The only thing I would have changed about the cookies was the color scheme. The filling was equal parts green and red, which isn’t an accurate depiction of what a slice of watermelon looks like. A green cookie (mimicking the rind) and red filling would have been better, but I’m guessing some sort of production difficulties prevented Oreo from doing that.

If you’re a watermelon fan, I definitely recommend these cookies. But even if you’re just a cookie fan, I still think you’ll enjoy this limited time treat. At the very least, you should pick up a package to take to your next family barbeque or summer party – in addition to a real watermelon, of course.

Posted in General | 5 Comments »

WANTED: MORE CARVINGS (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY)

July 26th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

picAs we head into the final week of National Watermelon Month, I wanted to take a quick moment to remind you to swing by the watermelon bin at your local grocery store (or stop by your local roadside produce stand) and grab a 10- or 20-pounder for the weekend.

While you’re at it, grab two. One for carving up soon after you get home and the other for carving up for the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s 2013 Watermelon Carving Contest. A few of the categories only have one entry so far, which means you’re chances of winning are pretty darn good!

What will you win? The top carving in each category gets $150, second place gets $100, and third place gets $50. Plus you’ll be entered to win the $500 “People’s Choice” prize. The first 25 entrants also AUTOMATICALLY receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board (there are still a few of those left).

Check out the 2013 Watermelon Carving Contest page for a listing of categories and rules. The deadline for entries is August 4!

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

WEEK FOUR PRIZE: THE WATERMELON RING

July 25th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

pic

I’ve never worn a lot of jewelry. I rarely wear a watch and my wedding ring is the only jewelry is wear on a regular basis. (Except for the 27 hours it went missing earlier this year after I let our two-year-old play with it. I was freaking out trying to find it. Turns out, my wife found it before I did and was hiding it from me. Very funny.)

For those of you who do like jewelry, our final National Watermelon Month prize is for you. It’s a watermelon ring made by the Etsy.com team Doll Food Miniatures. The ring is made with an adjustable metal brass ring tipped with a colorful wedge of watermelon made from polymer clay.

Like any watermelon creation, its beauty lies in the attention to detail. The outer rind, as you’ll notice from the image above, is dark green, while the inner rind is an accurate shade of light green. Bright red flesh and tiny black seeds complete the look and make this ring a pretty snazzy accessory for any watermelon lover. And yes, I just used the word “snazzy.”

I’ll choose one comment at random from all the comments left on the blog this month to receive this tasty piece of flare. Good luck!

Posted in General | 10 Comments »

SECOND SLICE: HOW TO STORE A WATERMELON CARVING?

July 22nd, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

Many of you have probably started your watermelon carvings for this month’s carving contest. If so, the Q&A below should shed some light on how to store your creation.

 

picSHIM ASKS: I was wondering how I should store a carved watermelon. I am planning to make either the turtle, shark or sailboat carving seen on your website for a party on Sunday morning. Should it be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature once carved? Should I wrap it, or can I leave it open? Most importantly, how many days before the event can I carve it? Thanks!

All good questions, Shim. Speaking from experience (and the experience of others), your carving should be created as close to the event as possible. If you can carve it on the day of the event, that would be best, but the day before should be fine, too. You definitely don’t want to carve it three or four days beforehand. I’ve seen some beautiful watermelon carvings (including several of my own) after three or four days, and they definitely didn’t look as pretty as they had.

After you create your carving, the refrigerator is the best place to store it. I asked our resident carving expert, Chef Joe, about storage and he said moisture is the key to keeping an edible carving looking fresh. Chef Joe keeps his carvings wrapped in damp paper towels while storing them in the fridge, and he suggested you do the same.

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: KEEPING THE BUNNIES AT BAY

July 19th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

pic

It’s been two months since my watermelon seedlings moved out of the house and into the tiny garden patch in my front yard (I don’t trust my dog enough to put them in the back yard), and I’m happy to report that they’re doing just fine.

There’s not much to report since my last update, except that the plants have grown considerably. In fact, about six days ago I noticed the very first tiny watermelons beginning to emerge on the vines! That’s a picture above of the very first one.

Not only are watermelons beginning to emerge, they’re growing incredibly fast. Just four days after the photo above was taken, I took another photo of the same watermelon and it had already more than doubled in size. In FOUR DAYS! (See photo below)

watermelons

The progress is encouraging, but my main concern right now is keeping the rabbits away. Our neighborhood is overrun with them, and I caught one digging at the base of one of my seedlings last month. After scaring it off with a few choice words, I installed a fence around the garden. So far, the fence seems to be doing a good job of repelling the bunnies, which appears to be a common problem.

The fence, of course, does nothing to deter birds from using my garden as a feeding ground. I’ve seen a few of them in there pecking away at various things, but they don’t seem to be doing harm to my precious produce … at least not yet.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

WEEK THREE PRIZE: WATERMELON SHOES!

July 17th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

pic

I own three pairs of shoes, none of which look like a watermelon, but if I were a little more fashionably bold (and three years old), I might change my wardrobe with this week’s watermelon prize.

The canvas shoes pictured above are hand painted by Etsy.com seller Uniquers Sneakers. They’re available in any size – even adult sizes! – and are guaranteed to make your feet the life of whatever party you’re headed to this summer. I’ll choose one comment at random from all the comments left on the blog this month to win this pair of snazzy footwear.

If you win, will you order a pair for your child or grandchild, or will you be adventurous and get a pair for yourself?

 

Posted in General | 13 Comments »

HOW TO CARVE: A WATERMELONOPHANT

July 15th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

pic

I didn’t used to be a fan of animated movies, but ever since I became a father three years ago, I’ve learned to appreciate the joys of cartoon filmmaking. One of those movies is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a movie about an inventor whose newest creation turns rain into food. The movie was a success, which is why a sequel – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – will be released on September 27.

One of the film’s characters is a watermelon elephant creation known as a Watermelophant. To help promote the movie and the good cause it supports (the movie’s produce partners are helping to solve hunger by donating thousands of pounds of fresh produce to families and children in need), this year’s Watermelon Carving Contest includes a “Best Watermelophant” category.

Turns out, carving a Watermelophant isn’t as tricky as you might think. I recently gave it a shot and I’m happy to share the step-by-step experience with the photos below.

carvestart

Like any carving, start with one clean, relatively blemish-free watermelon. The key part of that formula is the clean watermelon. Before cutting into any watermelon, you should wash it thoroughly in the sink (or wipe it off if it doesn’t fit in the sink).

carvemouth

The only cut you have to make in your Watermelophant is the mouth. As you can see in the image at the top of this entry and the image above, the cut looks simple, but the angles make it a little trickier than you might think. Take your time, and you should be okay!

carvetail

You have a couple options when it comes to cutting the Watermelophant’s trunk and ears. You can cut them from watermelon rind or you can create them using other materials. If you’re using rind, you’ll need a second watermelon. As you can see above, I carved the trunk of my Watermelophant from rind.

carvefinish

After you attached the trunk, you’ll need to attach the ears and eyes. For the ears, I used construction paper. If you have large leaves, those are even better. The eyes, placed relatively close together just above the trunk, are a pair of blueberries affixed with toothpicks.

Finally, your Watermelophant needs teeth. If you have real watermelon seeds (feel free to buy a packet of seeds if you need to), you can use those. I couldn’t find real seeds, so I cut my seeds from black construction paper. I think that method works even better than real seeds, because paper sticks easily to the wet watermelon flesh, and I’m not sure if I would have had the same success with the real thing.

And there you have it — a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Watermelophant!

 

Posted in General | 4 Comments »

HOW ARE THE WATERMELON CARVINGS COMING?

July 12th, 2013 by The Watermelon Guy

pic2With three weeks left in this year’s Watermelon Carving Contest, I thought I’d check in to see how everyone’s carvings are shaping up. We’ve received plenty of great submissions so far, but we haven’t received “hundreds and hundreds” of entries, so if you’re sitting out because you think the competition is too intense, I’d definitely suggest rethinking that stance. (I’d also remind you that the first 25 entries AUTOMATICALLY receive a Dexas Watermelon cutting board – a $20 value!)

To help inspire you, I’ve gathered four of my own carvings below. It should be noted that I created most of these during my first year of watermelon carving (with the exception of the basket), which means you don’t need a lot of experience to create halfway decent carvings capable of winning some of our carving contest prizes.

For more details about the contest, including specific rules and entry details, check out the 2013 Watermelon Carving Contest webpage. And for more inspiration and ideas for carvings, check out the “Carvings” page of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.

The watermelon T-Rex was the third carving I ever created, and one of my favorites. As you can see, it’s a relatively simple creation. Definitely a good one for first-time carvers.

carve1

I created this shark soon after the T-Rex (I guess I like carving mean-looking animals with sharp teeth). Like the T-Rex, this one was also a simple carving. If you’re considering something like this for your carving contest entry, I suggest adding some decoration around the shark (blue Jell-O, perhaps?) to make it look like the shark is coming out of the water instead of coming out of your countertop.

carve2

The Watermelon Carving Contest includes a “Best Watermelon Basket” category, and this basket would make a worthy entry. I made this three years ago (it was my very first watermelon carving) and it’s probably a little too simple to be a strong contender, but it’s a nice first attempt.

carve3

This watermelon mouth was one of the more bizarre carvings I created last summer. This would make a nice entry in the “Funniest Carving” category of the contest. If I were entering this in that category, I’d probably add a few extra touches of humor. Maybe some eyes, ears or a wig. Or maybe a tongue carved out of the red flesh inside the watermelon.

carve4

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »
7ads6x98y