What To Do With A Perfectly Ripe Watermelon

We've been lucky this year, in our first watermelon patch attempt, to have several good-sized melons coming in. Here are two pretty close to each other:

They're a bit camouflaged in the leaves, and one is actually ripening on the bricks, as these vines spilled out of their beds. 

We learned our lesson from our over-eager picking of one of the melons way too early. This time we are waiting for a brown, dried tendril where the melon stem attaches to the vine, and also a shriveled or missing leaf at that junction. That's the real test.

Last weekend we were pretty sure we had a good one, so Kirk picked it during Tiegan's birthday party. A bit nerve-wracking with lots of eager guests, but he picked up a knife for the moment of truth:

Ta-da! A perfect watermelon! All the kids at the party were as excited as we were (it's pretty cool to pick up a watermelon out of the patch and eat it on the spot, you know). Although you can't really tell from the photo above, this is a seeded variety. Turns out that spitting the seeds was a huge hit with the elementary school crowd — I have a feeling many of them have never done it, since most watermelons from the store are seedless these days. I'm not sure Tiegan and Jonas have ever spit seeds before, either.

Anyway, the thing to do with a perfectly sweet, totally juicy watermelon? Eat it on the spot, and spit the seeds to your heart's content. (Note the proof of juiciness above, on the ground to the left of Jonas.)

This melon was pretty big — enough for a dozen kids and lots of parents to have as much as they wanted, and we still have leftovers. It's kept quite well this week in the fridge, but it's almost gone. And that's good, because we've got another one outside ready to go for tomorrow!


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