“Rum,” Brian said with confidence. A little too much confidence for my taste, but he was about to be cut down to size.
“No,” I said quietly.
He pondered the pitcher. I knew the mint was distracting him.
“Tequila,” he guessed.
He stooped low to the pitcher.
“NO CHEATING!” I yelled. “You can’t smell!”
“Gin,” he was beginning to snarl.
“No,” I repeated.
“Ah, you’ve tried to trick me. It’s watermelon-flavored vodka.” A bad wild guess on his part. He was wearing down.
“No,” I said. “Give up?”
“Yes, damn you.” He was now meek and tamed, the way any good husband should be.
“Water,” I said.
“Water?” His voice carried terror.
“Yes, water and only water. No booze. No sugar.”
“If I drink that it will kill me,” he protested.
“If you don’t drink it, you’ll wish you had.” Sometimes a wife deserves to be on top.
When it is smoking hot, and for many of you it is triple digit time, this is a most refreshing beverage. Last Saturday we were at Blue Cashew [www.bluecasherkitchin.com] in Rhinebeck, New York for a book signing. Blue is a superior kitchenware store with an upscale stock of goods that will have you happily wandering for hours.
To make a warm day easier, Blue served this delicious water. It’s a simple pitcher with a slice of melon, a slice or two of cucumber, and some mint. Served very cold, it is the perfect pick me up. And, no alcohol. No sugar. Beautiful to behold.
In the end, Brian did taste and he did like it. [I had hidden the sugar container in our kitchen so he had no choice.]
Oh, the book signing was for American Masala by Suvir Saran, a neighbor of ours in the city. Suvir’s Manhattan restaurant Devi has received a Michelin star. You should consider his books or his restaurant for marvelous Indian cuisine.
Watermelon, Mint and Cucumber Water
Yield: 1 pitcher
- 1 thick slice of ripe water melon
- 1 sprig of fresh mint
- 1-2 slices of peeled, seeded cucumber
In a 1-quart or larger pitcher, fill with cold water. Add the melon, mint, and cucumber. Refrigerate until just before serving.
Source: Blue Cashew in Rhinebeck, New York
I saw a recipe that intrigued me: a salad of watermelon, cucumbers, and avocado. I tried it and was disappointed. It asked for a combination of balsamic vinegar and watermelon: the result was a color disaster with the bright watermelon color immediately transformed to “old tomato red.” The flavor was too simple, lacking the depth of contrast you would expect visually.
Here’s my rework with different ingredients and proportions but the same idea: create a crunchy, yummy salad with a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors.
I’m happy with my combination below, but you certainly can play with the amounts of each ingredient and try alternative vinegar flavor.
Made with cucumbers and watermelon, plus avocado, the major ingredients here all share one key factor: they are very heavy in water content. This salad will begin to “weep” upon creation. It will NOT last until later in the day, and never for the next day, in the refrigerator. So make this just before serving and relish in its freshness.
Watermelon, Cucumber and Avocado Salad
Yield: Serves 4-6
- · 2 cups of watermelon diced into ¼-inch chucks
- · 1 cup cucumber diced into ¼-i inch chunks
- · 1 avocado, peeled, halved and finely diced
- · 2 jalapenos, halved, seeds removed, and finely diced
- · ½ cup cilantro finely chopped
- · Juice of one lemon
- · 1 tablespoon sugar
- · 2 tablespoons olive oil
- · 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- · Salt to taste
- · Pepper to taste
- · 4-5 scallions sliced very, very thin
Put the watermelon, cucumber and avocado in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add the jalapenos, cilantro, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil and vinegar. Stir to mix, trying to minimize the amount of stirring time so that the watermelon is not crushed.
Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.
Garnish with the sliced scallions.
Source: Brian O’Rourke