My day laborer loves watermelon, so much so that we had for a long time an unspoken trade in effect at our favorite breakfast restaurant (Broken Yolk). I surrendered my watermelon to him, and he passed over his pineapple to me. Sadly for me, over the years he has come to appreciate how awesome pineapples are, and we no longer trade...
But in all honesty, my appreciation of watermelon has increased exponentially in the last year. I was very skeptical of the well-touted watermelon salad with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and balsamic salad dressing that's a summertime feature at Urban Solace. But not only did I love it after ordering it, I faked the recipe and made it myself a few times with fairly good success.
What started me on this post is the recipe in August Sunset magazine - a watermelon sidecar. Sidecar has been "my" drink ever since reading the book Cosmopolitan: A bartenders life (which is quite an enjoyable book that gives insight into the world of bartending, the same way Kitchen Confidential gave us a view into the world of a chef). Simple to prepare, only a few ingredients, tasty but not super sweet -- it's perfect. And it raises some eyebrows. I went to a nice restaurant with my main squeeze a few years ago and ordered a sidecar at the bar while waiting for our table. The bartender raised his eyes, served me my drink, then asked me what I was doing after the restaurant closed -- he said everyone he's ever met who ordered a sidecar was an interesting person to talk to. I have fairly dark skin, but I am sure I was visibly blushing when he said that, as I was obviously at the restaurant with someone, i.e. on a date. The sidecar is powerful.
Here's hoping the watermelon seeds I planted about 6 weeks ago (rather late in the season) survive/thrive long enough to give me fruit. I hope so - last year my fruit were late and I was carving watermelons for halloween (pics here and here). Thank heaven for summertime and sweet fruit. (And in 2 hours I'm doing a dance to the garden gods in hopes they'll send a good watermelon harvest to me; feel free to join in.)
Watermelon sidecar here I come... my fancy martini glasses are looking forward to some action.