The Parisian scoop that wasn’t

Things don’t always turn out as you hoped, planned or wished. You might plan to have that left-over stir-fry for lunch, only to discover your flatmate got to it drunk the night before. You might want to use the last of that mozzarella for pizza tonight, until you realise that mould has made a home of it long ago. And maybe one day, like me, you will decide to finally put that melon baller to use, only to find that it is, in fact, a coffee scoop.

The silly thing is, I always thought our melon baller looked oddly deep for a melon baller (or Parisian scoop, if you will), but I figured that’s just the way Italians like them. I’d seen my flatmate use it before and she seemed to get on just fine. I hadn’t given it much thought, until I started scooping and I found the thing impossible to handle. Absolutely no grip, the melon wouldn’t come out because the little hole in the bottom of the scoop wasn’t there, and why on earth was it so deep? On closer inspection, why on earth does it say ‘café‘ on the bottom of the handle?! Ah wait… I guess that explains it.

coffee scoop

For your entertainment, dear reader, for you to feast your eyes on my delectable, smooth, spherical chunks of melon, I proceeded to scoop out balls of melon with the coffee spoon, splashing myself with watermelon juice and swearing under my breath. Then, after the picture taking was done, I took to the internet in search of a new method that didn’t involve a Parisian scoop. It turns out that there’s actually quite a number of much cleverer ways to cut watermelons than my way (halving it and scooping out balls). I ended up going for this funky 45° method for a pretty mess-free experience, as explained by this wonderful elderly type, because I was using up all of my melon and this was the most convenient. My favourite video, however, must have been this one, because it has such a funky character in it, and it shows you how to keep melons fresh if you’re not going to use it all in one go, which is normally the case in my life. Plus, he references his mother. References your mother is ace.

In any case, once you choose your preferred method of cutting, have a try at watermelon and mint salad. It’s just a fruit salad, really, but it’s pretty refreshing and something a wee bit different from your usual fruit salad. Nice for when it’s roasting hot.

watermelon watermelon

For a nice large salad that you can eat by yourself or share with friends, but what do you care, it’s watermelon, it’s mostly liquid anyway, use:

  • two kilos or so of watermelon
  • a large handful of fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp of clear, runny honey (I used a pretty plain, polyfloral one)
  • a good splash of sweet-ish white wine, because as I mentioned before, a dessert without alcohol is really no dessert at all

Start by balling or cutting your melon and put all of the pieces in a large bowl. Now finely chop your mint leaves, add them to the melon.

Mix your honey with your wine, try to make it into a more or less homogeneous liquid. Pour this over the melon and mint, now mix it properly. Do it carefully, or you’ll damage the melon.

Now let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour. If you’ve got time, go back to it occasionally and mix it so all of the melon properly soaks up all of the flavour.

If you’re a booze enthusiast like me, swap white wine for white rum!

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