PHOTO: Tessa Zundel
August 3, 2015

You’re yearning to keep summer with you as long as possible, and I know how you feel. It is August now and school will be starting as the days eventually fade into fall. Never fear! There’s still much to celebrate and enjoy these last, lovely days of summer. As an example of August’s awesomeness, today is National Watermelon Day—yes, a whole day devoted to the delectable watermelon. Here are some ways you can celebrate with us.


1. Watermelon Wrapping Paper

Keep handmade watermelon wrapping paper on hand for all those summer birthdays! In fact, this would be a fun craft to do at a birthday party and turn it into a tablecloth instead.


2. Watermelon Moon Sand 

Did you know you could make your own moon sand? I didn’t until I stumbled onto this post last month. It was so easy and the kids loved it. The Kool-Aid did leave a bit of dye on their hands. I’d like to try using madder root to dye the sand—of course, it would probably stain their hands, too! Ah well, you can’t tell you had fun if you don’t get dirty, I say!


3. Erupting Watermelons 

Who doesn’t love the erupting science experiments? Here’s one using an empty half of a watermelon. Scoop out the halved melon and use the rind for the experiment and the fruit for the following recipe.

4. Basil And Lime Watermelon Ice Pops

Ice pops are a great treat and a fun way to keep cool in the dog days of summer. If you don’t have ice-pop molds, just use plastic cups like we did.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cups watermelon, blended down to about 3 to 4 cups liquid juice of one lime
  • 2 to 4 large leaves or small sprigs of fresh basil
  • 2 to 8 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic beef gelatin (optional)

Preparation

Combine lime juice, honey and gelatin in a small sauce pot. (The optional gelatin helps the ice pops stick together.) Stir on very low heat, not above 115 F, until gelatin is dissolved.

Thoroughly mix watermelon and basil in a blender. You can also use a juicer but we like to keep the healthy pulp. Add the lime juice mixture to the watermelon mixture and blend a few more minutes.

Pour directly into ice-pop molds or plastic cups. If using plastic cups, place in a small dish so that all the cups help prop each other up. Cover the tops of the cups tightly with plastic wrap. Cut bamboo skewers in half, remembering to remove the sharp tip at the one end, or use Popsicle sticks and gently poke through the plastic wrap to insert a stick into each cup. The plastic wrap will help hold the sticks upright while the ice pops freeze. Allow 4 to 6 hours to freeze.

To pop the treats from the cups, simple warm the sides with your hands and push from the bottom.

If you’re growing watermelons this year or are going to a U-pick farm, you must read how to pick the perfect watermelon in the field—it’s an easy trick!

What’s your favorite way to use up your melon harvest?

 



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