Watermelon Baskets for Kids

We lived in Arkansas for a few years, and one of the most lovely parts of that state is the watermelon. Mark Twain noted of the watermelon there:

The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world’s luxuries, king by grace of God over all the other fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took: we know because she repented.

We don’t live in the South any more, and it’s true–no other watermelon has come close. If you are lucky enough to be near this weekend, please go to the Cave City, Arkansas Watermelon Festival and enjoy one for me.

In the meantime, here’s a watermelon fruit basket made mostly by my children. The fun parts are cutting the trip, scooping the insides, and balling the melon. If you think your kids can’t handle a knife yet, show them how and let them try. I find that, by about age 7, most children can get the hang of the more basic knife skills.

This fruit salad has red raspberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe. Of course, you can make yours with whatever you like, including a dressing, but we like ours with whatever is in season, except honeydew. (It’s filler, and your guests know it. Don’t be cheap. Give them more berries.)

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Dressing for fruit salad:

1/2 c honey
1/2 c thawed frozen limeade concentrate*
1 Tbs poppyseed
Stir and then pour over about 12 c. fruit.
Garnish with slivered almonds or fresh mint.
*Look, if you are adding a sugary dressing to a fruit salad, don’t turn your nose up at limeade concentrate.

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