So, it turns out today is National Watermelon Day! I had no idea when my little person and I picked our VERY FIRST homegrown watermelon from the garden yesterday afternoon.
There was just something extra sweet as we bit into the firm, pink flesh, knowing that it had come out of our soil. My plan was to have so many melons that I’d be able to drop them off on friends’ and neighbors’ doorsteps around the county, but most of the best ones were eaten by the bugs or suffered some other misfortune before they were ripe enough to pick. whomp whomp.
Also, ALLLLLL summer long the ONLY two things my uber pregnant self have craved have been ice water and ice cold watermelon. I’m guessing that I bought at least one melon a week for 3 months and nearly ate the whole thing every week BY MYSELF. But now I have MY OWN from MY Garden!
Then I got even greedier… I couldn’t STAND the thought of wasting all that sweet thin layer of fruit and juice that got thrown away with the rind after I’d scooped out everything I could get with a melon-baller. Solution: Homemade New Orleans Style Sno-cones. There’s really nothing that my family likes better in the summertime. We probably go to the sno-cone stand once a week around here.
It’s been that way since high school, when I spent nearly every summer night with a posse of friends standing around outside the local Sno-Biz waiting for the cute guys to finish work there so we could all go out night-swimming or to a late movie. Even now, when I taste a sno-cone I still remember how hot it was and how excited my 16 year old self was when one of those guys would pass me a free sno-cone. (obviously, they had a crush on me as big as the one I had on them, right? ha! unlikely…but 16 year old Biz dreamed.)
Anyway, to do this at home, all it takes is a little mint simple syrup, a lot of leftover watermelon juice, an ice cream maker and YOWZA. (If I weren’t preggo you can BET YOUR BISCUITS that some tequila or vodka would find its way into one of these babies.)
Watermelon season is winding down, but this super simple recipe is well worth it with the dregs of that one sitting in your fridge right now! The hard part will be NOT eating the entire bowl full. (but it’s homemade and fresh, right, so what’s the harm?)
- 4 Cups watermelon juice, chilled
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Cup water
- Crushed leaves from 8 mint stalks (so, about ¾ Cup mint leaves)
- 1 Lime, cut into wedges
- FOR THE WATERMELON JUICE
- Take leftover watermelon juice after using a melon baller and the leftover flesh scooped from the rind and puree, then strain, or just puree'/strain watermelon chunks.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour if not already cold.
- FOR THE MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
- In a small saucepan, boil the water.
- When it is rolling, add in the sugar and turn to simmer until it has thickened slightly (2 minutes or so)
- Remove from heat and add the mint leaves to steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain the leaves from the syrup and store in a jar.
- Refrigerate until cool.
- FOR THE SNO-CONE
- In an ice cream maker, combine the 4 cups chilled watermelon juice and 1 cup of the simple syrup
- Freeze using your ice cream maker's specifications.
- It's ready when it is fully frozen but NOT lumpy-frozen. that's almost too hard.
- Serve with a large lime wedge squeezed over the top.