Between the first trimester sickness and the pre-moving fatigue and stress, by the time we arrived in Alabama last month, my nutritional reservoirs were feeling pretty low. Even though I'd been eating plenty of nutrient rich food during the first trimester, like pastured eggs, raw, grass-fed milk, and lots of good ‘ol peanut butter and bananas, I was still feeling pretty tuckered by the time I got back into the kitchen a few weeks ago.
Now that life is slowly, slowly, settling in here in Fairhope (not to mention, I'm over the danged ‘ol nausea), it's been wonderful to have the energy and desire to get back in the kitchen and work up all kinds of deliciousness.
The best part is that we arrived to Alabama in the swell of the summer bounty: corn, beans, tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, melons, cucumbers, and figs, have all been welcomed guests at our kitchen table.
And at the moment, there isn't anything scratching my hot, sweaty, pregnancy thirst quite like melons.
I be eatin' all kinds of melons. Cantalope. Honeydew. Watermelons. And a mix of all three. Now that'll fill up any depleted nutritional reservoirs: full of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin B6 and B3, and fiber!
While shopping at a super-small market on some farmer's property last week, the farmer had me try a taste of a new melon he was growing. It was a honeydew-cantaloupe cross…though I don't remember the name of it…
Hardy har har. Those made me laugh out loud.
Regardless of the name, as soon as I tasted it, I bought two to bring home and gorge on. Which is exactly what I did that night at dinner. Stuart didn't believe me that I'd eaten so much, but to prove my great weakness, I showed him the stack of nibbled melon rinds that still lingered on my empty plate.
Then, he believed me. And told me that I had a serious melon problem.
Even though our gardens are quite pathetic here at the moment (wait, what gardens?), I still knew I wanted to keep some of these melon seeds for the beautiful, lush garden that will undoubtedly await me at some point in the future.
That's right. You heard me. A beautiful and lush garden. At some point. Cross my heart and hope to die.
All that to say, here's a few quick and simple steps to saving seeds from a melon:
Step One: Remove the seeds from the melon using the side of a spoon. Place in a small strainer, run water over the seeds, and use your fingers to pick out the large pieces of melon pulp. It's the texture of snot and semi-gross, but such is life.
Step Two: Once the seeds are rinsed of any snot-clumps and residue, spread them in a single layer on a tea towel. Place in a protected and breezy area for a week or so (or until completely dry). I kept ours in the utility room on top of the dehydrator.p>
Step Three: Once the seeds are dry, simply transfer them to a container of your choice. For the time being, a plastic bag was all I had to keep all these beautiful seeds in. Isn't it wonderful how many free seeds you can get – and this is all from half a melon! After the seeds are in the container, store in the refrigerator to extend their life (which will be around three or so years).
Some garden-purists would tell you to be weary of keeping seeds from a melon that may have been around other melons, as some tend to cross pollinate with one another and therefore, will produce baby-melons that are different from their parents. But as for me, eh, what the heck.
I still don't really have a handle on when you can and can't plant things in this crazy sub-tropical climate, but the farmer did tell me that local melons are almost finished since we've been experiencing this heatwave. Apparently, for the next while, most all the melons here will be imported from Florida (which is about 40 miles away).
But y'all know me. I'm half-tempted to just stick one of these seeds the ground and see what it does…
Because I've also been warned that July, August, AND September are crazy hot months here in the deep South…and I could swear that melons like a lot of heat….hmmm….
For the moment, I think I'll concentrate on not coveting fellow gardener's bounties and beautiful, lush plots of vegetables.
And as experience is the best teacher, I’m here to share with you how to bake better bread at home. Save yourself years of bad loaves. My many baking flops are your gain. Here’s how to bake better bread at home.