Thursday, June 24, 2010

child at heart

Summer officially arrived a few days ago. It did not sneak through the screen door.....but slammed its way in, WAY ahead of schedule.

Yessiree, we're hitting record highs for June, here in Dallas.

Hot summers remind me of "the Betsy books" I read as a child. The stories revolved around a small group of neighborhood buddies and their mischievous adventures. Like the time they tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk.... Of course, I went out and tried it too.

In another story, someone in the group was having a birthday party and it was announced there would be a watermelon-seed contest. The kid who ended up with the most seeds from his or her slice of watermelon, would be declared the winner. That was a big deal back then.

This one guy got smart and began eating as much watermelon as he could for days or weeks before the party, saving the seeds to assure himself a win. Problem was, he had the wrong color seeds tucked in his pocket. Cheater!

These were the books that first made me consider there really might be something to this reading business. Paper and ink put me by Betsy's side and I played with her and the gang all summer long.

Admittedly, it's been decades of summers since I read those stories. I now fry eggs in an All Clad skillet but don't let that fool you; I'm still well prepared for a hot, playful summer. So, bring it on July; I double dare you !

And hey June, don't let that screen door hit you on your way out..........

Watermelon and Red Onion Salad

half of a medium red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
5 to 6 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
salt & pepper
black sesame seeds (optional)

Make an oil and vinegar dressing by mixing 1 measure of vinegar to 3 measures olive oil. Whisk together and set aside. (A ratio of 1 to 3 tablespoons should dress six cups of melon.)

Peel the onion half and slice it very thin. In a small bowl, cover the onion slices with cold water and allow them to sit for about 20 minutes, changing the water several times. Drain, then pat the onions dry. Return them to their bowl (also dried) and pour the dressing over them, stirring to coat. Set aside.

Cut the watermelon into chunks and place them in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the onions to the watermelon. Gently toss together. Tear fresh mint leaves over the salad and toss again. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.............just for fun!

Highly Recommended Summer Reading List
(All books by Carolyn Haywood, 1898-1990)
"B" is for Betsy
Betsy's Busy Summer
Betsy and The Boys
Betsy and Billy
Back to School with Betsy

and many others......

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