Cookie cutters and a carving knife are all you need to elevate your watermelon to monumental status.
According to National Geographic, watermelons have been around for 5000 years. Seeds and paintings of the fruit were found in King Tut’s tomb. By the year 500, the watermelon had migrated into the Mediterranean countries.
It’s been modified and changed greatly from its early versions, but today watermelon is the quintessential symbol for summer. Instead of just slicing it in half and filling it with fruit salad like Great Aunt Mimi used to do, why not make a show-stopping piece of art? With a little gumption and some imagination, your patio table can wow as well as make your guests’ mouths water.
Carving vs. Eating
If you are making a piece of art to decorate your patio table, you’ll need at least two watermelons: one for sculpting and one for eating. Watermelon sculptures are often only that- sculpture and not to be consumed. Ball or slice another watermelon for guests. (See below for fancy slice ideas). Place the served watermelon near the sculpture to avoid having a wayward guest chop into your dessert table’s pièce de résistance.
Carve it up
If you’ve ever made a jack-o-lantern, you can make a watermelon sculpture. Although we’re going for more beauty than fright, the concept is basically the same: cut through the rind in different ways to make shapes and lines. Having the right tools helps. Dig through the Halloween supplies to recover the carving tools from your jack-o-lantern adventures, or you can use any knife with a sharp blade. Professional (but inexpensive) fruit carving tools have curved edges that make some cuts easier to do.
Smaller, round melons are great to start with. Buy a bigger fruit to serve and carve a small, round one. You can search Pinterest or YouTube for tutorials or examples. Flowers and animal shapes are easier to do than you may think.
Eat in style
Go beyond the regular old slices. Break out the cookie cutters and cut out some red, juicy hearts. You can fill the hole in the slice with blueberries or blackberries, and serve it all on one plate. If finger food is your game, stick popsicle sticks in the rinds of triangle-cut slices, or put toothpicks in small rectangular pieces (with no rind). Balled melon is always a crowd pleaser, too.
Drinking your watermelon is fun, too. Many watermelon cocktail and mocktail recipes can be found online. Watermelon daiquiris, mimosas, mojitos and punches can spark up your summer party. Small cookie cutters can make shapes in the melon for glass garnish. Slice a thin piece of melon in a whole circle or half-moon shape. Use the smallest cookie cutters to make shapes and slice the shape from one side to the middle. Slide onto the rim of the glass.
Have some fun
When carving your melon, have some fun with it. Let worry waft out the window on the next warm breeze. It’s summer and time to relax. Your guests will love your efforts.