Saturday, April 19, 2014

It's watermelon time!

by Mary Kennedy

I felt so encouraged to find watermelon in the store last week that I just had to write a post about it. They're the round "mini" watermelons and they look delicious. I have one ripening in a brown paper bag on my sun porch right now. It's probably already ripe, but I want to make absolutely sure before I cut into it. (better safe than sorry, to coin a clich√©.)

One very popular dish we enjoyed down south was "Watermelon Salad." Once a month, on summer nights, it was "salad night" in Tennessee, and a handful of neighbors (there were six of us) would push some picnic tables together and have a whole meal out of salad and French bread (and yes, some wine and dessert.).  We took turns "hosting" the event and the host would provide wine, soft drinks, sweet tea, loads of baguettes and sour dough bread along with a decadent dessert.  (Coconut cake was a favorite, along with Lane Cake, lemon meringue pie and Key Lime pie.)

The rest of us each brought a salad.  All different salads; pasta salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, Greek salad and three bean salad were staples but we would experiment with more adventurous recipes, too.

 Oh, and a big crock of homemade pimento cheese spread was always on the table. One of the members always brought that as her "salad" and we loved it.  It was great fun, and I still feel nostalgic about it those long summer evenings surrounded by friends. I collected some wonderful salad recipes in those days. Since almost everyone (but me!) grew fresh vegetables and everything was straight from the garden. Delicious! Seeing the little watermelons in the store brought back happy memories for me. Do certain foods make you feel nostalgic?

by Mary Kennedy
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