Today’s chill slushie is the perfect anecdote to hot and dehydrating summer days (and nights)! It’s refreshing and cooling to drink, and beautiful to look at. And one of my favorite ingredients–watermelon, is the base of the drink.
I just adore watermelon. For me, it brings back such happy memories. Some of them are kinda funny memories, too. More on those further down. . .
Watermelon always makes me think of my dad. Hmmmm, and this post is coming out a few days ahead of Father’s Day. Happy coincidence!
Anyways, I remember my dad going to the grocery store or farmer’s markets together and picking out the most beautiful, juiciest watermelons money could buy. He has a real talent for picking excellent produce. Oh, yes, that’s a deliberate plural on watermelons–my dad would rather buy extra melons than too few. After all, his reasoning goes, we can always share the extra fruit with others.
Our produce-buying missions were “our” thing as father and daughter–going to what my dad calls “fruit market” and picking out the best and best-priced veggies and fruits available. To this day, I say I learned just about all of the skills about how to pick good produce from my dad. And many of my cooking skills I learned from my mom. Both important parts of the equation–how to pick the best quality produce, and what to do with it once you get it home.
As for the funny melon memories: the time my dad picked what he said was the most amazing watermelon ever–and left it in the shopping cart in the store parking lot of a Fiesta store (Texans know all about Fiesta 😉 ). Or the time we went to the farmer’s market in Houston. At this market, you can buy wholesale. Why exactly we needed a few dozen watermelons, I’ll never know for sure. At any rate, one of the watermelon vendors quoted my dad one price before loading up the back of the pickup full of melons. Then he quoted him another price when it was time to pay, the truck fully loaded with probably at least two dozen melons. Sneaky jerk thought we’d not want to unload the melons and just pay the higher price. He was holding us as fruit hostages. My dad was having none of this bait and switch nonsense. Every single melon went back to the display, and you can bet my dad made the guy help offload the heavy fruits.
So what makes a good watermelon? My dad taught me that it should be:
- Heavy for its size.
- It should have a hollow sound when you thump on it.
- The stripes should be very green.
- The skin shouldn’t have any mushy or pitted spots.
If you happen to get a subpar melon, you can salvage it by making this cooler. Of course, a perfect melon would be absolutely delicious blended into this chillaxing drink as well. Have fun with it and enjoy! Maybe while watching a World Cup match.
Watermelon Mint Cooler/Slushie
Ingredients (enough for at least 2 12 ounce coolers):
2 Cups watermelon, seeds removed
1 Cup almond milk (I prefer unsweetened; you could use rice or even coconut milk here)
Splash of vanilla extract
A few sprigs of mint, saving some for garnish
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend. Drink will be very pink and very cool. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!