Valley Bounty: Watermelon

Watermelons are a pretty handy summertime social shortcut—you can show up at a potluck with a watermelon, having done absolutely nothing besides pick it up at a farm stand or your favorite farmers’ market on your way there, and still be the hit of the party. Scientists have proven that the presence of a watermelon makes any social gathering 10-15% more fun (note to self: check that stat before sending to Gazette). On sweltering summer days when the idea of cooking something over a hot stove is a little too much to take on, cutting open a fresh watermelon to share with friends is a great way to spare yourself the time and the sweat.

A big triangular chunk of watermelon is undoubtedly a summer staple. If you’re looking to spice things up a bit (literally), a friend of mine recently offered me some watermelon sprinkled with chili powder, lime juice, and salt, and the combination of flavors is pretty unforgettable. To cool off, try combining six cups of frozen watermelon with a cup of sweetened condensed milk and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Throw this mixture in the freezer overnight, and you’ll have some super-simple watermelon sorbet.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)