Posts Tagged "watermelon"

What Does the Kalahari Desert Have to Do With Watermelon? Everything

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time there was the Kalahari desert. This is important because without the Kalahari they couldn’t have made the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy. And that would be sad.

About 5,000 years ago there was nothing in the Kalahari except sand and one coke bottle (see The Gods Must Be Crazy). Then there was a watermelon. And the people liked the watermelon so much that many, many more watermelon followed.

Watermelon. Anytime, anywhere. dearkidlovemom.comThe Egyptians thought watermelon were so dandy-wonderful that they drew pictures of them on walls (the term hieroglyphics is from the root “hi” as in near the top of the wall, “rog” as in rogue graffiti artists, and “lyphs” as in I hope I don’t get caught drawing on the walls). The Egyptians didn’t have good graffiti removal techniques which is why hieroglyphics still exist.

The Egyptians also put watermelons in the tombs with dead kings because one never knows when royalty will get a hankering for watermelon.

Fast forward to the 10th century when watermelon (and possibly watermelon shooters) had made their way to China. It took that long because travel was slow in those days and watermelon are not known for having large stockpiles of cash with which to travel. China is currently the number one producer of watermelons on the planet.

Dad’s garden is currently last on the list of watermelon producers having yielded (so far this year) exactly one (slightly under-ripe) fruit.

The US is fifth in watermelon production but according to Guinness (the records people not the beer people) the world’s heaviest watermelon was grown in Arkansas in 2005. It weighed 268.8 pounds (most of which was water weight).

Early explorers used watermelons as canteens. This is the first recorded instance of yuppy flavored water and the forerunner of Mio!.

There are over 200 kinds of watermelon grown in the US and Mexico. The most popular are the ones somebody else carries.

There are many recipes for Interesting Things to Do With Watermelon. I am not reproducing any of them here, since (a) my favorite is watermelon, cut with knife, served with a napkin and (b) My Friend the Internet has already documented every possible watermelon recipe imaginable.

Watermelon makes me think of summer and grilling out and summer and seed fights and summer and early fall.

What’s your favorite way to eat watermelon?

Love, Mom

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Happy October | It’s Fall Here in Ohio

The Poky Little Puppy DearKidLoveMom

One of my all time favorites!

Dear Kid,

Happy October 1!

It’s the month of ghosts, goblins, and witches, Breast Cancer Awareness, and the best bagels of the year at Panera.

It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog month (woof), Cookie month (yum), and in honor of college students everywhere it’s National Pizza month and National Popcorn Popping month. In one of the coolest moves ever, it is Sarcastic month. I don’t know who gets to decide stuff like that, but I think they might be my favorite stranger of the day.

October 1 is the birthday of Yosemite National Park (established 1890), the day the Model T was unveiled (1908) [who even knew cars wore veils?], the day Johnny Carson debuted as the Tonight Show host (1962) [he was the host for a loooong time before Leno was], the day former President Jimmy Carter was born (1924), and the day Roger Maris broke the home run record (1961).

Scruffy The Tugboat DearKidLoveMomIt is also the day National Geographic was first published (1888) [forever changing the way teenage boys thought about tribal life], the day the first World Series game was played (1903), the anniversary of when Little Golden Books began publishing children’s books (1942) [I love those books], the first time “In God We Trust” appeared on US paper currency (1957), the day the Concorde 001 broke the sound barrier in a test flight (1969), the anniversary of  Disney World opening in Orlando (1971), the day the first games of the World Hockey Association were played (1972), and the day the Cartoon Cable Network launched (1992).

The Amazing Julie Andrews and Grete Waitz were both born on this day. Not in the same year. And it’s World Vegetarian Day (you can celebrate by smiling at a piece of lettuce).

A bunch of other good stuff happened too, so it’s a day for smiling. [Note: In all fairness, a bunch of bad stuff happened too, but I don’t feel at all obligated to discuss bad stuff here today. My blog, my rules.]

We all woke up this morning, which is another pretty darn good reason to be happy.

Since it’s October, it’s officially fall (please don’t bother me with what the calendar says–see “my blog, my rules” above).

The trees are starting to turn (I tell you this in case you have your nose buried in your books or your phone on the way to classes), the temperature is cool enough to make wearing a jacket early in  the morning a good idea, and Booker is starting to shed like crazy. Crazy being the operative word. I keep telling him I am not going to glue his fur back on and he might actually appreciate a warmer coat in a month or so, but he just wags his tail, asks me to keep scratching, and sheds like it’s his job.

Other signs of fall abound. Dad is buying cider like there is no tomorrow (and I certainly hope there is a tomorrow because I have the blog half written), Mr. D across the street is no longer mowing his lawn twice a day, and I am looking up recipes for things like stuffed acorn squash and interesting varieties of soup all of which I’m unlikely to ever get around to making.

We have harvested this year’s crop of cantaloupe: one melon is the size of a softball, one the size of a baseball, and one an enlarged golf ball. In another experiment, Dad planted watermelon this year. The total harvest is one slightly deflated kid size football. The fruit industry has nothing to fear from us.

Happy fall,

Love, Mom


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