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Watermelon-King of the summer fruits

Watermelon Granita and Soda-Summer’s Best

 

All hail to the mighty Watermelon

Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood in the 1970’s in Southern California was a constant paradox. Inside the home was filled with laughter and love. Outside the home was a minefield where I developed a keen sense of humor for navigational survival. Not knowing who one could trust meant a need to disarm the suspicious quickly by making them laugh. Even still, the stereotypes kept me away from, or secretive of things like basketball, fried chicken and yes, watermelon.

The purpose of stereotypes

In the post-slavery days and after building the country, blacks were labeled as lazy and obsessed with watermelon. It was a way to denigrate and oppress. Black minstrels perpetuated the stereotype by singing songs, like The Watermelon song and Oh Dat Watermelon. Through to present day, watermelon-themed imagery is a racist symbol used to depict black people as “happy to do nothing but eat watermelon”. Even Barack Obama, throughout his 8 years as President of the United States, fought the racist trope.

Truth is, besides being delicious and incredibly refreshing, watermelon is loaded with health benefits. Hydration, Vitamins A and C and improving heart health are just a few of the many pluses of eating watermelon. As a result, I’m fairly pissed off I waited until my 30’s to grow a spine and not care what others thought. Now, I’m unstoppable. Trying in earnest to make up for lost time.

The Adult Sno-Cone

For over 10 years, I travelled to Hawaii to lead tours for a company that had foreign exchange students as their clientele. Don’t hate, it was work. I will concede that the location was ideal. The first day we would do a circle island tour which included the famous North Shore with the giant waves of Sunset Beach and the surf town of Haleiwa. Matsumoto’s would be a regular stop for the shave ice. A delicious concoction of flavored ice with ice cream at the bottom that you dig through. It’s very refreshing, albeit very sugary. As a result, one is the limit, but, I’ve taken out the sugar in the watermelon granita and reduced it in the soda.

These economical treats are very easy to make. A chef’s knife, a blender, a 9 x 13-inch pan and a fine mesh strainer are all that are required. In the video, you’ll see how I got a little creative and added to the granita, ginger frozen yogurt and a shot of the Hootch, Hootch, Anyone? For Adults only. It made the best adult sno-cone/shave ice I’ve ever had. I didn’t stop at one, which is the reason why this week’s blog is a day late.

Watermelon Granita and Soda
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Watermelon Granita and Watermelon Lemonade Soda

Watermelon Granita and Watermelon Soda

A delicious summer treat made with the King of the summer fruit - Watermelon
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Chefs knife
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan
  • wooden spoon
  • fork for scraping

Ingredients
  

For the Granita

  • 4 to 5 cups cubed seedless watermelon chunks for both granita and soda
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 2 limes
  • 1 handful fresh mint or to taste
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Soda

  • 4 to 5 cups cubed seedless watermelon chunks from a 5 pound melon
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 5 lemons
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 handful mint or to taste

Instructions
 

  • For the Granita - Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan. Freeze mixture for 1 hour. Stir and scrape with a fork, mashing any frozen parts. Cover and freeze mixture until firm, about 2 hours. Using a fork, scrape granita vigorously to form soft fluffy flavor crystals. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover tightly with foil and keep frozen. Give it a quick scrape before serving. Optional-top granita with whipped cream or place ice cream or frozen yogurt at the bottom of a frosted glass and top with granita. Add a shot of hootch, rum or vodka for an adult granita.
  • For the Soda - Pulse watermelon, lemon juice, mint, vanilla and 3/4 cup simple syrup (optional) in a blender or food processor until pureed. Pour into fine mesh strainer and let stand for 20 minutes or until juice has drained through. Refrigerate. Combine 75% juice and 25% carbonated water to make soda. Add watermelon drops (optional) to enhance flavor. Add rum or vodka for an adult soda.
  • Garnish with watermelon wedges

Enjoy!

Fitness update: I’ve put away all the scales in the house and won’t drag them out until the end of summer. Being at least 25 pounds overweight (2 stones), means weighing oneself is a tool of the enemy. An up and down week, exercise wise, I only made my walks 3 of the planned 5 days. The fourth of July is this weekend and I’ll be at the block party, so, food coma. The 4th of July Block Party 

Links to sodastream and the watermelon drops:

https://amzn.to/3dCVFQ5

https://amzn.to/3qFZEk4 

 

Do you have a favorite summer fruit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe Rating




Michele

Sunday 4th of July 2021

LOL!!!

Michele Lamar Richards

Friday 2nd of July 2021

Okay Chris, don't you think there's a restaurant with your name on it. I would definitely be a regular:)

CB

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

So long as you don’t order gumbo!🤦🏾

Helen Muci

Friday 2nd of July 2021

Hi Chris,

These sound like great recipes! Have a great, traditional 4th of July! Sending you my love, Helen M

CB

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Thanks Mrs Muci! To you and yours as well.

Brian Ann Zoccola Letofsky

Friday 2nd of July 2021

OOOH that looks good!!!! I'm going to try it.

CB

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

I hope you’re as happy with the results as I was🤞🏽

Noreen O’Neill

Friday 2nd of July 2021

This looks wonderful! Beautiful video. I’ll try it.

CB

Friday 2nd of July 2021

Thanks Noreen. It’s soo good and so refreshing. Enjoy!