The Dog Days of Summer: Childhood Memories and Chilling with Melons
When I was younger my family and I often spent the summer visiting our family in Connecticut where my mom grew up. With four adults and two kids, it meant stocking up our motorhome with the needed supplies for the 3 days of driving across the country to Aunt Elaine and Uncle Ray’s home in Willington, Connecticut. We would stay at their place for two weeks of hanging out with our aunts, uncles, and slew of cousins. During the days us kids would usually go tramping in the woods surrounding Aunt Elaine’s house. More often than not we would come across wild berries-strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries-which we’d more often than not pick and eat right of the bush, staining our fingers in the process. Nights for us kids-our cousins Jill and Todd, my younger brother and I-were usually spent sleeping outside in the tents while the grownups slept indoors. Many nights we would enjoy looking up at the expansive dark sky filled with a multitude of stars that one can only find out in the country. If we got lucky we’d catch a few falling stars over the two weeks. On other days we might find ourselves visiting the homes of our other aunts and uncles.
Then of course the best days were spent at Alexander Lake (sadly no longer open to the public now) for picnics and swimming. Those days were truly memorable. To this day I can still taste the fresh water of the lake and of us cousins swimming out to the diving platform with its slides. It seemed like the adults were always having to call us back to shore to either eat lunch or apply more sunscreen. Of course, none of our picnics would have been complete without watermelons. While every often the melons were cut up and then made into a mixed fruit salad, the melons were simply cut into wedges and eaten that way. More often than not the juices would run down our chins and hands-and every so often seed spitting contests would break out to see who could spit the seeds the farthest or hit certain targets.
To this day I still love melons, whether it’s a watermelon, honeydew, or a cantaloupe. While I still enjoy slicing melons up and eating them the wedges, I’ve enjoyed finding new ways to enjoy melons from salads to soups to drinks and more. I hope you find a few recipes to enjoy as well.