My Guillermo is generally very good at drinking water.. or so most people think. He guzzles it when he thinks about it, and will always have a few glasses with a meal. However.. he can also go several hours, when he’s in the hottest weather without drinking.. not so good. In the summer time, he can easily eat a half a watermelon a day, which really does help his hydration. Last night I bought him 2, and he ate 2/3 of the first one.
I learned several years ago from an old man I met in the grocery store the trick to buying the best sweetest watermelon. Look for good solid green striping, and a good solid yellow spot on one side. this means it’s been sun ripened in the field, and not picked too early (or too late if the watermelon no longer has it’s good solid bright striping) That advice has never steered me wrong, and I haven’t knocked on a watermelon since, wondering what in the world I was listening for.
My sister and I attended a basil seminar called “Your Herb it Here First, Basil is Back” at 13th St Winery. It was a wine pairing with different foods made with basil, the last pairing was actually a wine spritzer infused with basil.
It was fun, educational, and inspiring.
I shopped the next day for some ingredients, as the poor basil in my garden is struggling to grow…
The first I tried was the basil infused wine spritzer.. it didn’t quite turn out.. either I’m not a good muddler (you have to “muddle” the basil first) or not patient enough.. or they used a different kind of basil. (apparently there are over 150 kinds of basil!?!?!)
The chef’s was clear like sparkling water and so wonderfully aromatic.. mine was grassy green even though I did almost 1/2 and 1/2 with sparkling water… much less basil aroma shone through, and just didn’t do it for me.. I may try again once my own basil is grown enough to start harvesting, and get myself a good muddler.
Next, this morning, I made my first ever attempt at Gazpacho. this was to be a honeydew melon/cucumber cold soup with basil.
I looked up a recipe this morning after buying all i thought i needed, (classic Amy error) and realized I needed a green chili, and should have had 2 cucumbers. Recipe called for 2 cukes to 1/2 a melon. I had one huge melon, and one cucumber.
So i did a 1/3 melon to one large cuke.. but it still ended up too sweet, as the yellow honeydew I bought was super duper sweet. (Guillermo’s gonna be happy)
First you soften garlic and onion in a bit of olive oil.. instead of garlic, I used garlic scapes from my garden for a softer taste. I even used the top flowering part of the scape, and cut up the stems until they got woody, discarding the woody parts.
Once the onion is translucent and the garlic is softened, you add ~ 1/4 dry white wine, and cook off for about 3-5 minutes. (I used some of the failed basil infused wine). cut up the cucumber (leave skin on), melon, add salt, pepper and basil.. I added a few ice cubes to the garlic/onion/wine fusion to quickly cool, then poured it over the cut up cuke/melon.
Then Immersion Blender to your heart’s content.. and the result was…. too sweet (for my liking). I was missing that 2nd cucumber, and as a result the honeydew was a bit overpowering. So I added in half a squeezed lime, some S&P and a bit of chili powder. THEN it was perfect.. I still would like it zestier and more savoury, but I know Guillermo will actually like it, because of the sweetness. The basil comes through really nice, as do the scapes without overpowering like garlic might. I poured the gazpacho into a large mason jar to chill in the fridge for a couple hours til lunchtime.
Next I made a melon salad, with the remaining honeydew and half a cantaloupe. Garnished with chopped fresh cherries, basil, feta, salt & pepper.
This is fantastic, and one of my favourites.. I love doing this with raw onion, feta and watermelon with loads of chopped mint, but it makes my sweet Guillermo aghast, that I would do such things to his favourite fruit.. why, oh why would I ruin a watermelon with cheese , mint of all things, onion and salt?? haha.. poor guy.
So lunch was a wonderful treat of hydrating cold soup and melon salad. It’s 33 Celcius with about 67% humidity, well over 90% earlier this morning..
3rd day in a row of our Southern Ontario July heatwave.. Stay Hydrated and Cool!