August 4, 2004


Sunday, August 1

The top 3 on the list of things are associated most with summer for me, foodwise, would be: roasted corn on the cob, fresh boiled edamame (soy beans), and watermelon. While corn and soy beans are available, albeit frozen, throughout the year over here, watermelon is truly a taste of summer. As a kid, I would be excited to find a whole watermelon in our fridge, and ate and ate and just ate until the very end of the summer. Back in the day, we wouldn't find watermelon in cuts on a plastic tray; it was supposed to be sold in whole. So even now, I still feel reluctant to buy those packed small cuts, and because I know that I wouldn't finish the whole thing all by myself, I don't buy watermelon any more. Sad story.

And it's the watermelon season again. The other day, I got a brilliant idea from my friend Naoko-san on the net; vodka in the watermelon. Gouging the top (or bottom) of a watermelon and pour in a bottle of vodka, put the "lid" back, chill overnight to let the liquor get absorbed in the flesh of watermelon all the way, then slice and serve, feigning ignorance of the liquor content. Naoko-san said she'd originally gotten the idea from an American friend of hers, so some of you might probable be familiar with a recipe like this, but it was completely new to me; I've got to give it a try, I have to!

That said, I was still a bit hesitant to buy a whole big watermelon and soak it in vodka. Nowadays, however, there are smaller, "personal size" kinds available, and they were the answer. I got a (reasonably) small, 6-lb seedless watermelon and kept it in the fridge for a while. Since I had a plan to use vodka for something else, too, I got a bottle of vodka and I was all set.

Late at last night, after he went to bed, I undertook the project. I made a small (maybe not so small, well) hole at the top of the watermelon, and pour in some vodka, and halted; my watermelon is a small kind, and I'm pretty sure she meant a "whole watermelon" of a regular size, so if I empty the whole bottle of vodka, that would probably be way too much. Moreover, the whole bottle of vodka just looked horrifyingly a lot, I ended up with pouring just about a half cup of it. Intimidated? Sure I was.

This evening after dinner, I casually suggested that we have some watermelon. "Yeah, sure, we should, we've forgotten about it"... he replied. Yeah, maybe you have, but I haven't, I replied, within my mind.

It didn't cause him to notice anything strange until his second bite into his slice of watermelon. First he paused, looking puzzled, and once he figured the trick, it cracked him up. As we enjoyed a couple more slices each, we thought it would give a nice surprise at a party or something, giving an extra shot to an already boozed up crowd.


Santos said...

hi chika

i do the same thing, only with pernod or anisette, as i love the flavour of liquorice. the ever-so-funky thing is that when you cut into the watermelon, it "bleeds" a milky coloured liquid, which is the pernod. he might not like anise-flavoured things, but maybe you do?

the other watermelon thingy i do with is that i take any leftover watermelon, freeze it with vodka or tequila in ziplock or vacuum sealed bags, and then run it through a blender to make frozen cocktails later. you just never know when you might need one....

chika said...

Hi Santos,

That's an excellent idea... freeze it and use it later for making frozen cocktail... I'll drink to that!

Pernod? Ricard?? No, I can't have it >>>>bleah<<<<

Santos said...

okay, so no pluot pernod dishes if we ever have dinner together!

chika said...

Hi Santos,

Anonymous said...

Hi Chika

At my family cottage we had to find a way to get rid of one of those mammoth watermelons that we had only used 1/8 of for a party so I decided to make blender cocktails and they turned out delicious! I put lots of chunks of watermelon in a blender, added a shot and a half of dark rum, squeezed in lime juice and then kept adding ice cubes. The drinks turned out beautifully - sweet and frothy.

By the way, you have gorgeous photographs!


chika said...

Hi Daphne,
Thanks for the idea! It is quite impressive, in fact, that watermelon is so versatile in pairing with liquors. There was vodka, anise-liquor, and now dark rum as well... the same friend who originally gave me the idea told me that champagne would work well, too!