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Vodka infusions: Watermelon, part 1

Watermelon1Typical of me and DPaul, we managed to skip all the big stuff this past Pride weekend. No parade, no parties … we even missed Pink Saturday, which we rarely if ever do. It’s not that we didn’t do our fair share of fun things over the weekend, it’s just that most of them didn’t involve being surrounded by thousands of drunk gays and lesbians. It did, however, mainly involve being surrounded by just a handful of drunk people at any given time. Oddly enough, come to think of it, we were mainly surrounded by drunk straight people. Hm, whatev.

Anyway, the point is that on the night of Pride proper, we had a few friends over, and I was too damned drunk lazy to make dessert. While at the market, I saw watermelons and thought, perfect!

I’m guessing this year’s wacky weather was not so impactful on melons, because the box of watermelons outside Bell was full of gargantuan beasts bigger than basketballs. It wasn’t until I got home and checked the receipt that I realized I had just hefted home 15 lbs of fruit. On my shoulder, like a second head. For three blocks. Oy.

It’s a good thing I didn’t actually *make* dessert, because Jim & Matthew showed up with a box of goodies from Tartine. Well, that beats watermelon any day! Unfortunately, I was left with a fridge full of juicy red fruit. (Which I had to quarter just to get it into the fridge!)

I didn’t really get watermelon until about two years ago. I loved all other melons, and it’s not that I didn’t like watermelon, I just thought of it as the pedestrian filler fruit of the melon world. But then, one summer, I had a few remarkable watermelon preparations and the lightbulb went off. Most memorable was the watermelon sorbet in cucumber soup with pink peppercorns at Aziza, which I promptly recreated for DPaul’s birthday that year. Yum.

Now, we have done infusions of several melons in the past, watermelon included. Disappointingly, they all turned out tasting just like cantaloupe. Not that there’s anything especially wrong with that. I love cantaloupe. But when you put watermelon in and get cantaloupe back, well, you’re disappointed.

This time will be different, I thought. As I have such a monstrous surplus of watermelon, I can be selective, only using the juiciest, reddest, watermeloniest part for infusion. The rest of it, well, more on that later.

So, gentle readers, my hope is that, by using only the choicest bits, I can extract enough pure watermelon essence to overcome the evidently overpowering cantaloupiness that lies within. Stay tuned!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I can’t wait to know if your infusion works for the L & G pride : the french L & G P has already happened. But they are plenty of watermelons in the markets during the summer. I’m waiting for your judgement !

  2. Vodka infusions: Watermelon, part 2

    Because my watermelon infusion experiment was predicated on the assumption that the melon’s flavor is extremely delicate and easily overpowered by underlying flavors, I began tasting at the three-day mark, fully two days earlier than I normally do with…

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