Flattery and Rules

August 28, 2007 at 8:06 am 14 comments

The start of something very special 

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  And in this post, my imitation of a summer refreshment on one of my new favorite food blogs is most defintely meant to be genuine flattery.  The Traveler’s Lunchbox comes from across the “pond” – Scotland to be exact.  Melissa is a kindred spirit; she is a woman after my own heart who worships fresh ripe watermelon in the same unabashed way as me.   In fact, it was her Melon’s of Memory post that first hooked me on her blog.  

Yellow Watermelon Cubed

As far as I know, there’s no rule book on blogging, or if there is, I haven’t been shipped my copy yet.   My own rule thus far has been to not copy another blogger’s idea too closely.  If I can’t make something truly my own, I’d rather not post it.  But as with all rules, this one is about to be broken.  Melissa did such an amazing job with this recipe, and it’s just so good that I can’t do much more than give her all the credit and post her fabulous idea with a few minor changes. 

All Gone!  Woops, I should have saved some for the recipe! :) Spearmint Water (bought at Acme) 

  Raw Sugar for Simple Syrup Watermelon in Syrup in My Favorite Pink Tumbler 

There’s a sorry lack of rosewater here in Philadelphia.  And I also used yellow watermelon since I had gotten such a large one at the farm last week. And I cut back on the simple syrup since I found the flavor of yellow melon didn’t stand up to the sugar’s more intense sweetness.  Or perhaps that’s because I used natural raw sugar instead of the refined white sugar…?  In any case, when it’s all said and done, this is a simple and fabulous recipe idea that deserves all the cross referencing posts it can get.   It would make a lovely final course for a nice dinner party – refreshing and light.  My only problem is how to file it…is it a beverage or is it a dessert?  Or even a palette cleanser for between courses?  Well, like I said –  make your own rules and then break them when the mood strikes you. 

Watermelon in the pitcher ready to serve

Adapted from The Traveler’s Lunchbox

1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar (use raw sugar if you have it handy)
1 medium watermelon
2 t. lime juice or to taste
2 t. spearmint water (or use rosewater if you can find it)
several ice cubes

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the water and sugar to create a simple syrup.  Stir occasionally until all sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and chill. 

While syrup is chilling, begin to cut up the watermelon.  Remove all seeds – this is one reason I chose the yellow melon instead of the red Sugar Babies the farm is growing since the yellow Sorbet Swirl has far fewer seeds than most red varieties.  Or course, you can just buy seedless and skip this step altogether.  Once seeds and rinds are removed, cube melon into roughly 1/2 inch cubes (about the size of dice). 

In a large pitcher or bowl, combine watermelon with lime juice and spearmint water.  Add ice cubes and about 1/2 c. of simple syrup.  Stir all together, adding some cool water and more syrup as needed to reach desired flavor.  Allow ice cubes to melt completely before serving in small shallow bowls or tumblers with spoons for eating the watermelon.

Watermelon should be eaten relatively soon after being prepared.  It will keep for about a day or so if covered in the refrigerator. 

(serves 5 to 6)

Watermelon in Mint Lime Syrup


Entry filed under: Beverages, Recipes, Sweet Treats.

Papery Husks and Powerful Flavor Summer Lovin’

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. taylor  |  August 28, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Pretty melons. Hee hee. I think I like the idea of spearmint water better than rose water. Maybe some liquor, too.

  • 2. Jennie  |  August 28, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    I was contemplating vanilla vodka but thought I should keep it “family friendly”….but maybe next time. 🙂

  • 3. Panda  |  August 29, 2007 at 11:46 am

    This seems like the perfect time to comment after lurking for weeks and weeks…I’m so excited to see a Metromint bottle on this blog! They sponsor my bike racing team and I love incorporating their waters into recipes. Try making a simple syrup with the spearmint and putting it in tea or drizzling it over sorbet. Mmmm.

    I just joined a CSA a few weeks ago and your blog has been such a huge help for me as I learn how to use all the new foods that I’m getting — thanks!

  • 4. Jennie  |  August 29, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Panda –
    Wondeful! A lurker comes forth! 🙂
    Glad I could post something that helps a company that supports cycling! Also glad to hear I’ve been helping you out with unusual CSA deliveries. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve gotten in your box so far this summer?

  • 5. therealpotato  |  August 29, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Looks delicious! I’ve found rosewater at Jerusalem market in Fishtown, on Girard a block west of the Girard el stop.

  • 6. Jennie  |  August 29, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the tip, therealpotato. I’ll have to look for it.

  • 7. Panda  |  August 30, 2007 at 10:44 am

    So far the most unusual thing I’ve gotten (for me) has got to be the purple Chinese long beans. Very tasty, but I had never seen them before. The recipes that have been the most useful for me are all the eggplant & squash recipes; my fella will NOT touch them unless they’re really well disguised, but he cleaned his plate of the fritters and the eggplant parm recipe you have posted up here. I can’t wait to sneak the fried slices past him.

  • 8. Jennie  |  August 30, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks for reporting back, Panda! Purple chinese long beans? Interesting. Did they loose their color after cooking? We have purple string beans at the farm but they turn a rather dull green when cooked so I haven’t bothered to post them since the resulting picture wasn’t overly appetizing. Perhaps I’ll do a post still anyway since it sounds like unusual beans abound. 🙂 I’m glad the fella likes the fritters and parm. Definitely try the greek-stlye fritters next.

  • 9. Panda  |  August 31, 2007 at 10:44 am

    They definitely dulled a bit after cooking (I sauteed them with some pesto and other veggies), but they maintained their purple color. Their skin seemed thicker than the typical string-bean skin, and had an almost velvety texture to them, and the pods were about a foot long!

  • 10. Jennie  |  August 31, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Wow! I definitely need to find some of these beans. The pesto coating sounds lovely!

  • 11. Joanna  |  September 5, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    I also had occasion within the last few days to try this recipe — to use up half of the watermelon I got on Saturday. The watermelon was rather larger than I’d really intended to come home with, but I’d already tried the smaller Sugar Babys, so I couldn’t resist trying a new variety. 🙂 It happened to be seedless, so preparing the melon went quickly; it also happened to be pink, so I thought rosewater would be a fitting, color-coordinated addition, just as in the original recipe rather than the modification here.

    FYI, I don’t know what your shopping patterns are like, but if you find yourself in center city (perhaps shopping at the Fair Food Farmstand?) soon, I already had a bottle of rosewater that I had procured from the Spice Terminal in Reading Terminal Market.

    I brought the liquid flavorings + the chopped watermelon over to a friend’s apartment for a gaming night — and partly since I was in a hurry to assemble the treat, and partly because I didn’t want to disguise the watermelon flavor very much, I ended up adding maybe a tsp of lime juice, a tsp of rosewater, maybe not even 1/4 c simple syrup, just a few ice cubs, and some cold water. It felt haphazard — but hey, everyone loves watermelon, and the preparation added a nuance of other flavors.

    Now I have a whole jar of simple syrup…

  • 12. Jennie  |  September 6, 2007 at 6:15 am

    Joanna – so glad you tried this recipe too! Yes, it does make a lot of simple syrup…the original recipe made even more. I like the idea of preparing it in front of others. Adds a little pazzaz. 🙂

    As for my shopping habits, I’m fortunate enough to not really have to shop much for my fresh veggies since 80% of the produce used in this blog’s material comes straight from the farm where I volunteer (Weavers Way). The other things I can’t get there, I pick up at Headhouse Market when I’m working our stand there each Sunday. That being said, everyone who doesn’t have such a sweet set-up as myself should definitely check out the Fair Food stand in the Terminal since it carries WW Farm produce too! 🙂 Next time I need rosewater, I’ll be sure to stop in the Terminal.

  • 13. Joanna  |  September 10, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Heh. Well, the preparation of this watermelon wasn’t actually IN FRONT of the other gamers…they were busy drinking beer and joking. Boys! But, that might be a fun method of preparation for a dinner party or something…

    I wouldn’t say that I make many special shopping trips, either, since I’m at farmers’ markets, the co-op, or the FF Farmstand 5 days a week! 😉 But that does take me all over the city, so it’s often convenient for me to make special stops for particular ingredients — e.g., rosewater from RTM or (someday soon!) my first fresh pasta from the Italian Market. So I guess I just meant — if you happened to be in the area, you could pick up some rosewater there!

    Readers should also note that aside from the WW Farm produce they can usually buy at the co-op, the surplus comes to the farmers’ market in front of the co-op every Thursday from 3-7. There are two other farms represented, too. An Amish family with veggies, jarred goods, baked goods, and even homemade root beer! Plus, Fruitwood Farms selling all varieties of fruit (including stone fruit and apples) and various honeys.

  • 14. Jennie  |  September 10, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for all the great info, Joanna! Keep it comin’!


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