Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Watermelon Round-Up!

'Tis the season for those big juicy globes that bring delight to all and are such a radiant symbol of summer.  That's right, I'm talking watermelons.  Here's a round up of watermelon uses from elegant to campy.

Watermelon and Feta Salad:

This is one of my favorite recipes.  I see it on restaurant menus more and more these days, but I still find it an unexpected pleasure to serve at home.  Plus it is easy and doesn't require ANY cooking (which is a great advantage on a hot day).

Watermelon, cut off rind and thinly sliced
Feta, sliced thinly
Olive oil
Black pepper, freshly cracked
Salt, a flaky one is the best like Maldon or Fleur de Sel

Arrange sliced watermelon on individual plates, then place feta slices on top.  Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Ta-dah!

An Alternative Watermelon Salad:

Watermelon, cut off of rind and thinly sliced
Mint leaves, whole or ripped
Olive oil
Black pepper, freshly cracked
Salt, a flaky one is the best like Maldon or Fleur de Sel
Chili flakes

Arrange sliced watermelon on individual plates and sprinkle with mint.  Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and chili flakes.

Watermelon Porcupine:

This whimsy just tickles my fancy because we've had a resident porcupine in my parents' garden for the past two years.  She/he waddles out in the late afternoon to fill up on greenery and in the process trims our hedges.
Image via Cutest Food

Vodka Watermelon:

Image via SweetPaul

I've always wanted to try this, but haven't yet.  These directions come from Sweet Paul

Large funnel

Cut a hole in the watermelon all the way into the meat. Place the funnel in the hole and pour in the vodka.  (He suggests using lime vodka.)

Note: It takes about 2 days for a watermelon to soak up 2 cups of vodka, so do it in the fridge and ahead of time.

Watermelon Polo:

This game is reminiscent of the days of summer camp.  It can be played in a pool or at the lake.  Grease a watermelon using Vaseline or Crisco.  Divide your players into two teams.  The objective is to get the slippery watermelon to the "goal" without picking the watermelon up out of the water. (In a pool, the goals would be two opposite walls.  In a lake, use two buckets weighed down with rocks to keep them submerged, and set them up about a pool-distance apart from each other.)  I promise, this is harder than it sounds.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Every Day Delights: Inventive Light Fixtures

I've seen a bunch of creatively repurposed pendant light fixtures in my travels recently.

A cheese grater chandelier at Little Muenster, a grilled cheese shop on NYC's Lower East Side.

Image via The Kitchn

Image via The Kitchn

Relique sells a single antique cheese grater fixture

Image via Relique

Beaters from industrial mixers form the light fixture at The Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley, CA.

Zipper 8 Lighting makes a soda can tab pendant light

Can you imagine what an archaeologist would think having unearthed one of these? "Were these tools?  Are there remains of grated cheese, or slopped soda? Or are they light fixtures, having been fitted with a socket and bulb?" They might never get it straight, but lucky for us, we live in the present where objects are constantly being reinvented in playfully creative ways!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wedding Flowers: A Neighborhood Affair

Neighbors had been growing and tending extra flowers for this wedding all summer long.  The day of harvesting finally arrived, and I had the pleasure of watching as bucket after bucket of flowers arrived and crowded together on the front porch of the house.  Long stems, short stems, an old paint bucket filled with 10 different kinds, mason jars full of sweet peas.

 Friends and neighbors convened at the house the day before the wedding to help with the flower arrangements.  We taped a grid over the mouth of each vase to better stabilize and contain the stems, and then set to work in pursuit of our own floral arranging styles.  The results were seriously breathtaking.  Everything was in season so nothing looked out of place, the colors were vibrant, and the flowers were everywhere.

Here are the two big ones K and I did:

We had one very talented family friend who made all the bride/bridesmaid bouquets and the boutonnieres.  These were a combination of locally donated and purchased flowers.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pacific Northwest Wedding Teaser: Here Come the Girls!

I went to a splendid backyard/garden/farm wedding last weekend on an island off of Seattle (and no, I am not just saying that because it was my best friend's wedding: it actually was a design blogger's dream come true.)  I'm still traveling the craggy cliffs and winding roads of that particular coast, so I'll just give you a first taste today.  More to come!

The Girls

The pastoral view from the flower and candle lined driveway