December 31st, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I hope everyone has plans to ring in 2015 in style…even if that means you’ll be fast asleep by the time Ryan Seacrest leads us in the annual Times Square countdown. I also hope you’ve given some thought to your New Year’s resolutions. pic


Back in October, I asked everyone what my 2015 watermelon-themed New Year’s resolution should be. So far, in my quest to become a better watermelon fan, I’ve competed in a watermelon-eating contest (2014), grown my own watermelon (2013) and competed in a watermelon seed-spitting contest (2012).


It gets harder each year to pick a watermelon resolution, which is why I asked all of you back in October for ideas. Jim Long suggested that I train with NASA to deliver some watermelon to the International Space Station. I really like that idea, mainly because becoming an astronaut is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was 4 years old. Unfortunately, the likelihood of me accomplishing that objective is about as likely as me growing a watermelon that can actually be eaten.


And so, I’m forced to consider resolutions that don’t require eight months of intense zero gravity training and a trip into outer space. In fact, the resolution I’ve chosen for 2015 doesn’t even require me to leave my own kitchen (except to visit the grocery store to pick up a few things).


That’s because, in 2015, I resolve to prepare more recipes using watermelon. And not just any recipes. I resolve to prepare at least one recipe per month that I’ve never prepared before. Sure, I’ll still make my favorite watermelon smoothies, watermelon salsas and watermelon & feta salads, but I’ll also be tackling unusual recipes like Kung Pao Watermelon Shrimp, Watermelon Taboule Stacks with Grilled Watermelon and even homemade Watermelon Sherbet.


Those are just a few recipes I found on the Watermelon.org recipes page. I’ll also scour the Internet for ideas and ask you — What About Watermelon’s readers — for your suggestions as well. And I’ll be chronicling each creation with a monthly entry right here on the blog, including the successful creations, the not-so-successful creations and everything in between.


Get ready, because 2015 is going to be a very tasty year. At least I hope so!


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December 26th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

I’ve started planning my New Year’s Eve celebration menu (which includes lots of dip), and it reminded me of this blog entry from 2012. And yes, I’ll be celebrating from the comfort and warmth of my couch at home!

You know how you know when you’re getting old? When you stop thinking that spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square would be “a really awesome experience.”pic

I got smart and gave up that dream around the age of 32. That’s when I realized that spending eight hours in freezing weather surrounded by a drunken mob of tens of thousands of people might not be such an awesome experience after all.

Today, I’m quite content to spend New Year’s Eve on the couch with my wife, in the warmth of my own home. We still enjoy watching the ball drop on TV, though. I’m not sure how the tradition of dropping a ball started, but it’s inspired hundreds of towns of all sizes to drop all sorts of weird things to ring in the New Year.

In Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, they drop a dead carp seated in a throne. Honolulu drops a pineapple (no surprise there). In my hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, they drop a giant strawberry. Fruit seems to be a popular choice for many cities. Peaches, oranges, apples, lemons – they’re all dropped in towns across the nation.

Only one town that I know of drops a watermelon. That takes place in Vincennes, Indiana. The town (pop. 18,449) grows watermelon and hosts the annual Vincennes Watermelon Festival, so their New Year’s Eve choice kind of makes sense.

But the townsfolk in Vincennes don’t just raise a watermelon to the top of a building in the center of town. No, no. They use a crane to raise a minivan-sized watermelon about 100 feet into the air and then, at the stroke of midnight, ten real watermelons fall from the belly of the big one and smash to bits on the ground. Check out the festivities in the video below.

Is it weird? Sure, but it’s no weirder than freezing your butt off in Times Square, hoping only to catch a glimpse of the ball because you’re three blocks away from the action.

UP NEXT: My 2015 New Year’s resolution

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