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Susan Campbell’s Kitchen Talk

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One happy result of preparing Watermelon Rind Pickles, as we did last week, is an abundant supply of bright pink fruit from the melon. There are several ways to use this fruit, including fruit salads, jellies, and chilled kebobs, but SLUSHIES are a favorite with my family. Watch for a good sale on this flavorful fruit, and enjoy its cool freshness in a new way. Let’s make SLUSHIES!

Begin by testing for ripeness, by “knocking” on the firm rind of the melon. A ripe melon will sound slightly hollow, and should smell sweet and not overripe at the stem end. Next step is to place the washed melon on a large baking sheet or tray, prior to cutting the rind from the chosen watermelon. Save the rind for pickles, remove all seeds including immature white ones, and place the juicy chunks into a large bowl. Use a potato masher to reduce the volume, leaving a few chunks.

I love making treats in our ice cream maker, but find that too much dairy does not agree. SLUSHIES are the solution, for times when a frozen treat is called for. I pack about four cups, or one-half gallon of mashed fruit into the machine, and let it go. A pinch of salt allows the natural sweetness of the melon to remain, but boosts sodium levels during extremely hot weather such as we have experienced this year.

To make up for the single simple ingredient-fruit-used in this recipe, it is easy to devote extra attention to presentation. Tall parfait glasses, or champagne flutes would elevate this fruity treat. Conversely, for a family presentation by the pool, sturdy plastic cups offer a safe method of presentation that kids will love, along with their parents.

Cute color coordinated cups set in a bed of ice will help SLUSHIES retain their chill longer. Long-handled spoons or wide straws offer both convenience and utility.

If you do not own an ice cream freezer, you can also prepare SLUSHIES in the freezer. Simply pour the crushed melon into a deep metal baking pan, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and freeze for one hour.

Remove from freezer and stir, from the frozen outer edges to the still-liquid center. Re-cover, and return to freezer. Repeat this stirring process once each hour until the mixture begins to have an airy “Sno Cone” appearance, when it will be ready to serve. Use a metal pan, as frozen SLUSHIES bring out the best in kitchen gadgets aimed at removing the product. A glass bowl could  easily shatter under the hand of an overanxious server.

© 2010 by Susan Campbell

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