Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I carried a watermelon: beating the heat

What's a girl to do on super hot sunny days aside from take 3 showers a day? Seriously, Athens is as hot as Vegas right now, I'd imagine it's hot enough for doing Bikram yoga on the balcony, only i'm not that crazy! I shouldn't complain, I love the summer, only thing is, I wish I had a rooftop pool or lived slap bang next to a beach.

In this heat my appetite tends to switch off completely... ok, no I lie, I still live on ice-cream by the bucket load but anything which involves switching on the oven is a major no-go. I already get enough hot air from outside when the balcony doors are wide open, I so do not need and cannot cope with added heat from the oven. (I remember baking a gigantic turkey on Christmas Day in Sydney, Oz with an oncoming heat exhaustion after beaching it on Bondi - not pretty and not clever). I still don't get how normal this is for most people out here, but I guess they cook early on or eat very late at night - something i'm else i'm still not used to.

The only thing that refreshes me in an instant is watermelon. Yup, there is a serious abundance of watermelons here in summer along with drive-by watermelon trucks with loud speakers announcing their arrival. I go through watermelon like hot dinners, I eat it with feta, blitz it up for cocktails or make popsicles, the alcoholic kind.

Note, watermelons in Greece are huge, like seriously massive. The last one we picked up was close to 10 kilos - think 2 small babies or 3! I always let the mother-in-law pick as she always selects the sweetest, juiciest ones.
Right, before I get into choosing a ripe, juicy watermelon, let me share some watermelon recipes I found online which help beat the heat.

Watermelon & Tequila popsicles What you need:
  • 1 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon without the rind, cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Pinch of salt
Make it!
In a blender, puree the watermelon with the sugar until smooth. Stir in the tequila, lime zest and salt. Pour the puree into 8 popsicle molds or 2 standard ice cube trays (insert popsicle sticks halfway through freezing) and freeze until hard, about 3 hours.
You can also omit the lime zest for lemon and also take out the tequila and add some crushed mint leaves to this recipe for a non alcoholic version!

Watermelon Sangria via by Bewitched
What you need for 16 servings:
  • 12 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 1 medium lime, quartered
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
Make it!
Place 9 cups of watermelon cubes in a blender; blend on high until very smooth. Strain juice through a mesh strainer into a large pitcher. Pour the wine, vodka, triple sec, and simple syrup into the pitcher. Stir to combine. Mix the remaining 3 cups of watermelon cubes, the lime quarters, orange sections, and blueberries into the sangria. Chill for 4 hours before serving.

Martha Stewarts Watermelon Mojito - edited.
What you need for 1 cocktail-multiply as required:

  • 4 large mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 4 ounces seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup), plus a small wedge for garnish
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
Making it!
In a heavy large glass, combine mint, lime, and sugar. Using a muddler, mash together mint and lime until sugar is dissolved. Add watermelon, and muddle until broken down. Stir in rum, agave syrup and ice cubes. Pour into an 8-ounce serving glass and garnish with a watermelon wedge. Serve immediately.

Choosing a watermelon via e-how. I tend to just thump the watermelon and hope to hear a hollow sound.
  • "Look for shiny watermelons. Ripe watermelons will be more dull in color, but have a shiny complexion. The watermelon should be evenly toned. Watermelons that have one side lighter or darker than the other should be avoided.
  • Find a yellow or white spot on the watermelon. This is where the watermelon was sitting on a ground. Ripe watermelons will be yellow in color, while white means it isn't ripe.
  • Hold the watermelon in your hands and squeeze it. Listen very closely for soft cracking inside. This means that the watermelon is ripe. Don't squeeze too hard since anything will crack under a certain amount of pressure. Another way to determine a watermelon's ripeness is to hold it in one hand and slap it (with the palm of your hand) with another and listen for a hollow sound/thump.
  • Keep in mind the type of watermelon you want. Females tend to be larger, sweeter and have less seeds than males. (Say whaaaat? There's gender involved?) To find out if a watermelon is male or female, look at the bottom side and find a ring that is going in the opposite direction of the other watermelon's circles. Smaller ring sizes, about the size of a penny, are male watermelons. Female watermelons may have quarter size rings."

Wishful thinking...sigh!

Is anyone elsewhere suffering from OTT heat? How do you guys cool down without the aid of A/C or a pool?! What are you all craving in this summer heat?

images via 1, 2, 3, 4

p.s Thanks new readers for stopping by. Regular lovelies, hope all is good with y'all!
Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...