Garden, Plant, Cook!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Watermelon "Lemonade" and Hibiscus Roselle

Dear Folks,

We harvested the next big Bradford Watermelon this past Sunday, and in one of those "DARN!" moments, I dropped it!

I had been waiting on this one looking for the tendril to dry as the first one I harvested was really, really good, but could have stayed on the vine longer AND the seeds were not viable. So with this one harvested I thought we had a double winner, bigger, better fruit and with viable seeds.

After the melon crashed to the floor and we salvaged the pieces, the fruit looked a bit past its prime.  Good tasting but actually not as good as the first one.  However the fruit made wonderful drinking juice (making ""Lemonade" out of lemons) and the seeds are viable - Yippeee!

I now  have 1st generation Bradford Watermelons seeds to sow in January.  I am also going to put the germinating test seeds in some jiffy pellets and see if I can have happy transplants in January.  Watermelons are typically sown/planted in January/February.

My view on when to pick ripe, at least for this melon is going to be the "thump" test instead of looking for the tendril to dry.

My Roselle plants are just heavy with the calyx ready for harvesting and using.  I decided to dry some and they dried nicely in the sun.  The picture shows a fresh one and the dried petals.  The lemony / cranberry flavored treats can be used in teas and other dishes.

I had some left over turkey soup I had made, so I thought "turkey and "cranberry" and topped the hot soup with a small sprinkle of the roselle dried petals.

We agreed the flavor and contrast with the soups was delicious, the cranberry flavor was very subdued, so the over all taste was a lemony topping to the soup.  Very nice.  The petals softened some but were still a nice chewy texture to the soft noodles.

I will probably add them to dishes like Pasta Primavera.  I would suggest you try them in any dish which calls for lemon or lime additions.  You will be pleased.

Have a great day in the garden and you kitchen making delicious meals from your bounty!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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