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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Thumpin’ Good!

Watermelon is without question one of my favorite foods.  I have loved it since I was a child, and I used to eat it, quite literally, down to the white rind.  In addition to its low-calorie/high flavor appeal, watermelon reminds me of girlhood visits on my grandparents’ shady back porch, where my cousins and I would spit seeds into the dusky night while lightning bugs flickered around the white hydrangea blossoms.  A game of freeze tag almost always followed. Watermelons-595x270
In my 1960s childhood, a local grocery store chain advertised to a catchy tune that its watermelons were “thumpin’ good . . . red, ripe, and ready to eat; Cas Walker melons just can’t be beat!”   And, although, the best watermelons always came from my dad’s garden, Cas Walker was right about one thing: the best way to choose a watermelon is by the sound.  Oh sure, you can look at the stem, you can sniff for sweetness, but if you want a really good watermelon, put your ear close by and give it a thump!  If it sounds hollow, it’s a sweet ripe melon.  Trust me on this, and whenever possible buy a local watermelon; you’ll have no regrets.IMG_2093
So, once you have your perfect melon home, it’s time to slice it up.  During peak season, we eat at least one watermelon a week, and we seldom ever eat it from the rind.  I like to cut it into chunks and keep it cold to use in salads or to serve for dessert with blueberries.  IMG_2094
Slicing the melon on an old rimmed cookie sheet keeps the sticky juice from running all over the countertop.   Clean-up, as they say, is a snap!IMG_2095
And, now you’re all set with several days’ worth of watermelon in storage containers in the fridge, and a delicious fruit salad to accompany supper.IMG_2096  My favorite watermelon recipe these days is a bit of a twist on the watermelon arugula salad that had my mouth watering a couple of years ago.  It’s simply a little more family friendly—in other words, I’m the only arugula lover in this house!
watermelon-salad-550x412 Watermelon salad
baby spinach, rinsed and dried
fresh basil or cilantro, if you have either on hand, makes a nice addition
2 cups watermelon chunks
half a cup chopped peeled cucumber, optional
half a small red onion, coarsely chopped
4 ounces low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
to make the vinaigrette, whisk three parts olive oil to one part vinegar with a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lime juice, and a bit of kosher salt and black pepper to taste
If you want to make a statement presentation with this, serve it in triangles cut from the watermelon rind.  watermelonfeta-dg[1]            Image from Slash Food
And, now, it’s time for my nightime bowl of watermelon.  I hope the lightning bugs are out!


  1. I have a great big ol' watermelon in my kitchen right now. Might have to try your salad!

    And using the rind to serve... that is a great presentation!

  2. We have been having the sweetest juiciest watermelon lately. It is Cooper's favorite fruit. I will have to try out your salad and I love arugula. :)

  3. Oh, that looks delicious. I'm already looking forward to the farmers' market this week!

  4. I love watermelon, an all time favourite of mine as well. I squeeze a few limes on mine for an added zing.

  5. I love all the ingredients in this recipe, so I must try this! LOVE watermelon!


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