Friday, August 31, 2012

Too Many Melons - Sunday of the Month

This summer has been one of the warmest in my memory, and unlike the rest of the Midwest, in this part of Minnesota we’ve had enough rain. Our garden has grown enthusiastically as a result. We’ve harvested one or two succulent ears off of every corn plant. The cabbage and broccoli have grown faster than the cabbage worms. The carrots are fat and orange.

The warmth this summer has given our melons a boost and they win first prize for productivity and taste. Dave planted two varieties of watermelon and three of cantaloupe and when we are patient enough to wait until they are completely ripe, the melons are magnificent. Most summers, about the time we figure out what a ripe cantaloupe looks like, we’ve eaten them all – green.

This year we have enough melons for our learning curve to flatten out. The cantaloupe are ripe when the background color behind the netting is a warm beige, not a light green. The watermelon are ripe when there is a small yellow spot on the bottom of the fruit and when the little twisty vines at the stem end of the fruit are dry.

We serve the watermelon plain, with mint and feta cheese, and with tomatoes.
When Dave cuts into a ripe melon, the scent fills the room and my mouth begins to water. Today we had one cantaloupe for breakfast and two different cantaloupe and a watermelon for lunch. Tonight we had cantaloupe shakes for dessert. On the off chance that we can’t eat or give away the melons fast enough, I freeze cantaloupe for shakes later in the year. There is no such thing as too much melon.

Cantaloupe Shakes

1 medium ripe cantaloupe, diced – about 5 cups
2 T lemon juice
2 T sugar
¾ c milk
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Blend cantaloupe, lemon juice, sugar and milk until smooth. Add ice cream. Blend again. Serve with a long handled spoon. Serves 4.

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