My Esophagus!

Day 12~

Now this one may seem like a pretty strange body part for me to pick to be grateful for….. but the esophagus is the way our food gets to our tummy, keeps it from going down our windpipe and also from food coming back up from the stomach!  Now that’s something to be thankful for!

According to Wikipedia, “The word esophagus which derives from the Greek word oisophagos, which means “to carry to eat.”[1]”   I don’t think I’d like it if I didn’t have one!

esophagusNow, there is kind of a funny story attached to me picking my esophagus for gratitude that I wanted to share with you.

When our first son Jon was a baby, my husbands brother Dave was teaching him all about his body parts.  You know…. the regular stuff.  “Show me your nose, show me your eyes, etc, etc.”  One day to be funny he decided to teach Jon where his esophagus was!  It was all kind of a big joke, but it stuck and Dave would always ask him (when he was still little) where his esophagus was.  Since that time, I believe many family members learned where their esophagus was from Dave, including the rest of my kids!  And recently, I told my son that we will have to teach his new baby Benny about where his esophagus is.

So there you go…… now you know part of why I’m grateful for my esophagus!  But really, I do enjoy eating my food…. so I’m grateful my esophagus is one of the good functioning parts of my body to get it where it needs to go for nourishment.

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

The Better To Eat You With My Dear!

Day 3 ~

What would I do without my teeth?  Well… I’m sure I’d have false ones if I lost my own, but I’m grateful I have my own!

Having experienced loved ones who have dealt with dentures and really hated them…. I’m very grateful for my own teeth.  I don’t think I can really understand or relate to what it’s like to not be able to chew the way you used to with your own teeth, and to have to take them out and clean them daily and to experience ‘bitter beer face’ in the mirror…..  just a few of the inconveniences of dentures.

My Dad used to get a big kick out of taking out his dentures and teasing the Grandkids with his bitter beer face, and they loved it.  They thought he was pretty funny…. and funny looking.White-Teeth

Most people with dentures are not comfortable with others seeing them without their teeth, but a handful make it a game…. and that was my Dad.  For me, however…. I’m afraid I would be one who didn’t want others to see me that way.

My teeth my not be picture perfect, but they are very functional and do what they need to do and that’s something to be truly grateful for!  I’m grateful I’m able to chew my food enjoy the texture and taste (though taste is a whole other topic for gratitude!).  That’s part of the joy of eating… chewing our food.  (At least for people with their own teeth.)  They have also come in handy as scissors on occasion.  LOL  I’ve bitten off a few clothing tags in my day.

Taking bite out of a juicy apple would be hard to do without them!  And of course…. they make smiles much nicer to look at!  I’m grateful for them and have plans to always keep them!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Another New Veggie — Baby Bok Choy!

I think I’ve mentioned before about how my husband likes to buy Bountiful Baskets quite often.  And, usually there are some vegetables in there I’ve never tried and often never heard of.

The last couple of basket’s he’s brought home have had Baby Bok Choy in them.  No…. I’m not a connoisseur of Bok Choy…. so I was at a loss as to what to do with it.  After finally looking up some recipes online…. I decided to give it a whirl.  I ended up combining a couple of recipes I found plus threw in a couple of my own things and I have to say….. it turned out very well!  I would actually make it again!

So…. to make sure that I don’t forget what I did…. I’m going to share with you my own version of Stir Fry Baby Bok Choy.  Unfortunately…. I didn’t think about taking a photo till it was too late…. so I’ll post something similar looking, though it won’t be the exact picture of mine?

Stir Fry Baby Bok Choy with Cashews. While this is not a picture of my recipe... it's very similar in look. This one if from a website called Simply Recipes.

Stir Fry Baby Bok Choy with Cashews

2 Tb. olive oil

1 small bunch green onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb Baby Bok Choy, cleaned, cut in half lengthwise with larger leaves pulled off

1 tsp Sesame Seeds

Salt to taste

2 tsp Tamari

2 Tb Chicken broth

Pinch or 2 of Chinese 5 Spice

1/2 cup cashews

In large skillet or Wok, heat oil on high. Turn heat to medium high and add green onion and garlic and sauté till slightly brown.  Add 1/2 of the Bok Choy and sauté till starting to wilt, about 2 min.  Add remaining Bok Choy and drizzle a little more oil on top.  Stir fry till leaves are bright green and limp.  Sprinkle sesame seeds and salt in.  Add chicken broth,Tamari, Chinese 5 spice and stir.  Cover with lid till heated through, about 3 min or till Bok Choy is just cooked through.  Stir in cashews.  Serve warm.

There you have it!  It tasted pretty good if I don’t say so myself!  Quick and easy!   None of the recipes I looked at called for Chinese 5 Spice…but as I was stirring in the Tamari, my nose thought it could smell a little ginger…. and I thought, that would be a good addition in a chinese type dish!  So, there in front of me, sitting with the spices right above my stove, was the Chinese 5 Spice!  I added a pinch to the mix.  I think I might add 2 pinches next time.  The taste was very slight and I don’t think a little more would have hurt.  Most likely it would have enhanced it even more!

Being forced to try new foods is not a bad thing!  I’m grateful that I have that chance and I’m grateful for the internet for giving me a place to go to look up recipes so easily!

Give this one a try and let me know what you think!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Discovering New Vegetables and New Flavors

When I get in the mood to cook…. (or prepare food as in this case….) I love trying new things or re-making a recipe that was a ‘new’ discovery the first time I made it!

Last week I was in the grocery store and saw some Jicama (pronounced hee-kah-mah).  I decided to pick some up.  The first time I had ever tasted Jicama was a couple of years ago when I decided to try a recipe out of my Clean Eating magazine that used Jicama.  It sounded good, so I decided to be brave and try it.  Jicama is delicious!  It has a sweet crunch to it.  I know it’s popular in Mexican dishes like soups, stir fry and salads.  The magazine info called it the “Mexican Potato” that looks like a flattened beet with the texture of a water chestnut.

Spicy Jicama Salad. See how colorful?l

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is the Spicy Jicama Salad that I made a few years ago.  Since I had the Jicama staring me in the face today sitting on my counter…. I pulled out the magazine and happened to have almost all of the ingredients I needed to make it so I gave it a whirl… with a few adjustments of course!  As you can see as you read the ingredients… if you are into Raw eating… this is a great recipe for that!  It’s bright colorful salad and would be a great side dish anytime but particularly in the summer.

I will list my adjustments and changes out to the side.

Spicy Jicama Salad — from Clean Eating Magazine Vol. 2 Issue 3 — May/June 2009

1 Jicama, peeled and julienned

1 Carrot, peeled, and julienned

1/2 red bell pepper, julienned    (I used a whole pepper)

1/2 green bell pepper, julienned  (didn’t have a green pepper so I used a yellow one…. again a whole pepper)

1/2 cucumber, seeded and julienned  (since I used an English cucumber… I didn’t seed it)

1/2 cup red onion, chopped    ( I didn’t have a red onion, so I chopped 1/2 of a sweet white onion….but I also added some chopped red cabbage for the color)

1 naval orange, peeled and chopped

Juice of 1 lime  (no limes around so I used 3 Tb lime concentrate)

Pinch of cayenne powder  (a little goes a long way here, be careful unless you like it hot!)

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped    (my fresh cilantro was gone, so I used the dried kind… not the best choice, but it works in a pinch)

Instructions:

Combine jicama, carrot, red and green peppers, cucumber, onion and orange in a medium bowl.  Toss in lime juice, cayenne, salt and pepper and cilantro.  Let sit for 20 t0 30 minutes, covered in the fridge before serving.  Unlike most salads that get soggy sitting in the dressing for longer periods,  jicama stays crunchy.  The salad will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrients per 1/2 cup serving:  Calories: 70, Total Fat: Og, Sat. Fat: Og, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 2g, Sodium, 55mg, Cholesterol: Omg

This really is a delicious and different salad.   I am a huge fan of Clean Eating Magazine.  I would recommend it to all you foodies out there that are looking for healthier alternatives and recipes.  You can even subscribe to a digital version now.  In some ways I wish I had that….but other ways I love my ‘in hand’ mags!

I just need to figure out a way to organize all the recipe indexes into one spot so I don’t have to look through all my issues when I’m trying to find either a recipe I’ve tried and liked or looking for some new ideas!  I’d love some advice on that!  The only thing I can figure to do right now is to ‘copy’ the index page from each issue and put them in a binder.  I would think that would save me some time.  I’m sure if I was ambitious enough I could make my own digital index by hand typing in all the indexes…. but that would take hours!

It was really fun today to have enough of the ingredients on hand to just be able to make this salad on a whim!  I guess it goes to show that trying to eat healthy most of the time can pay off when you have lots of fresh fruits and veggies around!  Now I just need to get brave and try making up my own recipes!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

The Versatile Sweet Potato

I know what you are thinking…..  “Is this a food blog or a Gratitude blog?”.  I understand!  I’ve had several posts lately about food, but after yesterday’s successful Sweet Potato recipe…. I just have to share and say how grateful I am for yummy Sweet potatoes.

I don’t remember growing up liking sweet potatoes much.  I was never a fan of the gooey sweet ‘yam’s’ that were served at Thanksgiving.  Even though my Dad was a farmer as a hobby, he never grew sweet potatoes that I remember, so I think the only time I had tasted them was at Thanksgiving.

Then… I grew up…. and so did my tastebuds.  There are many foods I could put on the list of things I didn’t like much as a kid, but as I grew older I learned to like them.   Today my focus is on Sweet Potatoes.

I guess I started eating them a few years ago when we would go to a steak house that served a baked sweet potato with your entree.  I started enjoying them at that time, sometimes with a little cinnamon sugar, but mostly with just butter salt and pepper.

Then some restaurants started serving Sweet Potato french fries.  That’s when I really started liking them.  I liked the savory or salty taste better than adding more sweet to an already sweet potato.  Then I discovered my favorite Sweet Potato fries EVER at Smashburger.  They are flavored with Olive Oil and Rosemary…. so delish!

As I was making plans for what to serve for our Thanksgiving dinner, I discovered a Sweet Potato Soufflé recipe in my recent issue of Clean Eating magazine.  Since it had Rosemary in it as a spice…. I had a feeling that it would be delicious….. and oh my goodness was it!!  It reminded me very much of the flavor of the Smashburger Sweet Potato fries.  (Which by the way….. I blogged about early this year…..)

This recipe from Clean Eating is so good we are planning to use the rest of the sweet potatoes we have to make more.  And…. it was a hit with my company yesterday!  We had very little leftover!  I think that must say something!  Perhaps more people would eat Sweet potatoes more with a little savory flavor instead of the extra sweet!

So, here is the recipe from the 2011 November/December issue of Clean Eating.  (A GREAT Food magazine by the way!)

Souffléd Sweet Potatoes (with Garlic and Rosemary)

(from Clean Eating Magazine)

4 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed well

1 head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

4 large egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Using a fork, prick each potato 2 or 3 times.  Place potatoes on a baking sheet, transfer to oven and bake for 45 min to 1 hour or until softened.  Meanwhile, loosely wrap garlic in foil, sealing tightly.  Place on a separate baking sheet, transfer to oven and bake for 30 to 35 min, until softened by not browned.

Remove potatoes and garlic from oven, and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes, and place in a large bowl.  Squeeze garlic cloves from their skins an add to bowl.  Add broth and use a potato masher to mash until smooth; stir in rosemary, salt and pepper.

In a separate large bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar.  Using a electrice mixer, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 min  With a rubber spatula, gently fold half of egg white mixture into potato mixture until just a few white streaks are visible. Fold in remaining egg white mixture, allowing a few small white streaks to remain visible.

Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with a cooking spray.  Add potato mixture, using a spatula to smooth the top.  Transfer to oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until top is lightly browned.  Serve hot.

Serves 10

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe as much as I do!  I’m so grateful to be discovering the things that can be done with the sweet potato!  Do you have a favorite recipe using Sweet Potatoes?

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Learning Lessons the Hard Way

Ah…. it’s always fun when you learn life’s lessons the hard way!  This one is kind of funny though.

Let’s just start off by telling you what a wonderful salad I made for my husband and I today for lunch!  After a long morning at the temple, we came home tired and hungry.  Since we didn’t have any bread defrosted to make a nice sandwich…. the next best thing we had stuff for was a salad.  It’s actually a lot more work making a salad than a sandwich since I have to chop up all the vegetables and such…. but make it I did!

We had some nice fresh wonderfully crisp romaine lettuce that we got last Saturday from Bountiful Baskets.  That was a good start.  Then I added spinach, cut up some radishes and tomatoes.  I had some leftover cooked quinoa that I added, some sliced almonds and cheese and then I remembered that I had a cucumber in the fridge, so I cut that up and put that on too.  Topped it off with some nice Ranch Dressing and brought it over to my hubby so we could eat.

As I took a bite of the salad, I said to my husband, “Ooh… this cucumber tastes weird.  It takes like soap or something!”  He agreed that it wasn’t very good so I started moving the cucumbers off my salad.  As I continued to eat my salad…. which wasn’t tasting very good….. my husband said… “Actually, the whole thing tastes a little soapy.”

Then….. he said to me…. “Did you use the cutting board that I cleaned those glass Roosters on?”  OH-MY-GOSH!   What did he just say??????

I usually try and rinse off cutting boards when I’m through with them, but they don’t always get washed because I’m not very good about getting my dishes done everyday.  So often, I will grab the cutting board and use it again (unless of course it was meat…. then it gets washed!) to cut vegetables.  I also use plastic cutting boards, not wood.

So here’s what happened.  Last night we were doing a little cleaning in the kitchen getting ready for company tomorrow.  I decided that my Rooster figurines were looking pretty greasy, so we got them down to wash.  Since the big one had a big piece of felt on the bottom, we didn’t want to get the whole thing wet.  So the next thing to washing them in the sink was to spray it with some cleaner and then wipe it clean.

I have 4 really small rooster figurines as well as the large one.  Apparently, my husband set them on the cutting board I had just used to cut the bread up for our dressing for the turkey.  He was spraying and cleaning them while they were sitting on the cutting board.  Obviously…. I wasn’t paying attention at ALL to the fact that he was cleaning those over the cutting board.

OK…. I admit it…. I didn’t get the dishes done last night, so the cutting board was still sitting on the counter this afternoon.  Well…. it looked clean!  <grin>  and it was just bread crumbs after all … right?  So why wouldn’t I just use it to cut the vegetables?

Well…. you’ve probably figured out the reason why our salads tasted like cleaning soap today!  Needless to say….. they ended up down the garbage disposal!  I wasn’t in the mood to start over with a new salad.  Consequently….. our lunch wasn’t much.  I think I remember eating a banana and sharing the rest of the cucumber that I didn’t cut on the cutting board.  Not much of a lunch.

So… I learned a lesson the hard way today…. at the expense of throwing out all the makings for a salad and then not having much to eat afterwards!

I’m grateful for the lesson.  I will be much more conscious of making sure I am using a clean cutting board from now on.  And by clean, I mean….. the cleaner is rinsed off!!!   Oh….. I made sure of that already today!   As I was starting my prep for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I decided to use a clean cutting board out of the cupboard instead on the one with cleaner on it that still hadn’t been washed!

Great lessons learned….but not so great consequences!  I guess that’s what it takes sometimes to make us more aware of the things we are doing!!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Hearty Squash

One of the things I love about Fall harvest time is enjoying the fruits of your labor…. or in my case…. the fruits of someone else’s labor!  Actually, in this instance, I’m not referring to fruit at all!

I love squash.  I probably don’t buy it and enjoy it near enough…. but I do love it.  I have to say that I miss the wonderful Butternut Squash my Dad used to grow.  In fact… I always had such a good supply of them from his garden, that I very often didn’t get through them before they went bad!  But since my Dad is no longer here…. I have to buy an occasional squash.  

My husband has been subscribing to Bountiful Baskets the last several weeks.  Last week he brought home a great big Spaghetti Squash.  Way too big for just the two of us.  But, as long as it takes to cook them, I figured it was easier to cook the whole thing now and then just use the rest of the ‘spaghetti’ for another meal.

Spaghetti squash is pretty versatile.  Most recipes use it in a similar way that you would use a pasta.  Today we sautéed some onions and garlic in butter, added some fresh chopped tomatoes and then stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash and topped it off will a little parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.  It turned out quite delicious!

I’m usually quite satisfied eating most squash with just butter, salt and pepper…. but spaghetti squash needs a little more flavor, at least in my opinion.  The other half of the squash was shredded and put in a storage bag to use tomorrow.  Since I didn’t flavor it with anything… the sky is the limit for how to flavor it tomorrow!

I love the hearty foods that fall and winter bring!  I’m grateful for them even though we don’t have a garden of our own, (no, we can’t have one… we don’t have room for one in this condo….)   At least I can enjoy that harvest from someone else’s garden!

What your favorite kind of squash?

I am Grateful!  How are You?

My Theater Peeps

One of the most rewarding things about being in a live theater show is the friends you make!!  I’ve been blessed to make many of them over the years.

It never ceases to amaze me how close I can get to some of them during the run of the show with the intention of staying in touch….. but we don’t….. and then several years later seeing them somewhere and saying “How do I know you?”  I HATE that!  But, unfortunately it happens!  At least to me!

That’s one reason why I’ve been grateful for Facebook….. it keeps me in touch with those people so I don’t forget who they are!!  Maybe you don’t have that problem…. not remembering someone you didn’t think you’d ever forget….  maybe it’s just cause I’m getting older…. I don’t know!  But I’m glad FB can keep me in touch with so many of them now!

Today…. I got to stay in touch with a few theater friends over lunch!  Yeah!  Those are the best kinds of ‘staying in touch’ moments!  This crowd was a few of my BINGO peeps.  Yep…. BINGO!  No…. I don’t frequent a Bingo hall….. though it might be kind of fun to do sometime…. The show is called BINGO the Musical and yes…. you guessed it!  It’s about BINGO!  It’s a funny show with some really fun music, eccentric characters and a chance to just have fun!

Just a few members of the BINGO cast..... Me, Camille, Erica and Loria

Of course….. I’m not being biased at all….. but we had a darn good cast!  And it was directed by one of my all time favorite directors, Jim Christian, who joined us for lunch today!  The only draw back doing that show is that we didn’t have very big audiences!  Of course, the auditorium is huge at the Grand Theater… so it’s hard to fill all the seats…. but I think because the show wasn’t a well known show, it didn’t draw the crowds that other well known shows might.  All I can say to that is…. You missed out!  The crowds we did have were great and loved the show!

It was great today to sit and visit and catch up a little, laugh a little and of course have great food to boot!  There really is something special and unique about theater people.  We usually aren’t very inhibited, which makes us pretty darn fun to be around!  Of course…. there maybe some very refined people who would disagree….. but then…. do they really even know how to have fun? <grin>

I’m grateful I could spend time with a few theater friends today.   Thanks, Erica, Loria and Jim (we missed the rest of you!)  I’m grateful for the friendships I have formed over the years doing theater!  They really are great people.  And….. if by chance you see me one day and you’ve done a show with me in the past and I don’t remember you…… Please forgive me!  Just remember I’m probably older than you and just remind me of our connection and let’s get reacquainted again!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Friends, Food and Fashion Consulting

Today was a great day.  There’s many things I could blog about today that I’m grateful for….. and I probably will eventually hit all those things in future posts.  But I won’t hit them all today.  I’ll limit today’s post to Friends, Food and Fashion Consulting!

I had lunch today with a group of friends from college.  It was great fun.  2 hours just flew by!  It never seems like you have enough time to really visit like you want.  In fact…. if we hadn’t been at a very popular busy restaurant, we may have hung around to visit longer.

It’s always fun to try and catch up on what’s going on in each others life.  It’s been a while since this group of friends have met for lunch… so it was great fun.  I’d love to do it more often, but it’s amazing how busy our lives get!  Someone said today that they thought as we got older we were suppose to have more time to do this sort of thing, but it seems like we just get busier!

The food was great…. we ate at Cheese Cake Factory so how could it not be?  But…. the company was the best part!  Two of my dear friends that I still sing with were among those there today.  We don’t sing as often as we’d like to anymore, so we don’t see each other as much.  After we finished our meal we decided to go take a look inside the mall.  A couple of brand new stores had just opened up yesterday so the mall was crazy busy!  They are new stores to Utah, the first in the state, so a lot of people were there to check them out.

After walking through Crate and Barrel together, and deciding that we did NOT want to stand in any kind of line to see H&M…. (we weren’t that curious!),  we talked for a few minutes and then Laurie left with her husband and son to go somewhere else.  Nila and I decided to go to a few more stores as long as we were at the mall.

There were several stores I wanted to look in today since I don’t make it to that mall much anymore….. but the rest of my afternoon was spent with Nila pretty much going to where she wanted to stop.  The first stop we made was a pretty high end store that she loves to shop at.  After a few minutes there, with no purchases I might add…. we stopped at the Bare Minerals store.  I needed to pick up some Warmth since I was out of it.  Nila decided to have one of the girls give her a makeup makeover while we were there.  I decided to stand by and watch and take notes.  I figure you can always learn new tricks!

Nila looked beautiful when she was done.  The gal’s name that did her makeup is Whitney, by the way.  If any of you go to the Bare Minerals store at Fashion Place mall and want a makeover…. ask for her…. she was great!

Then Nila wanted my advice on some clothes to wear for work.  She’s a Legal Secretary, so she has to dress nice everyday for work.  I told her to try Dillards.  She told me that every time she goes there she can never find anything.  I always find stuff when I shop at Dillards.  So…. between the two of us, and her modeling the clothes we found …. she walked away with a pretty good stack of new clothes for work!  I think she’s going to save them as her Christmas gifts.  And the best part….. the were all on sale!  That’s the only way I buy anything at Dillards…. on sale!

So today…. I spent time with Friends…. had some great Food and got to be a Fashion Consultant!  It was all very fun!  I’m so grateful for the fun, but mostly for the time I spent with friends.  It was so good to spend some time with Nila.  We used to see each other almost everyday when we had a business together, so it felt nice to spend some time with her.  I didn’t even mind that I didn’t get to the rest of the stores I wanted to see.  Friends are much more important that that!  Besides…. the mall isn’t that far from me.  I can go shopping another day.  However…. I think I’ll wait till AFTER the Christmas rush!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Watermelon

There’s nothing better than a nice ripe juicy cold watermelon!

I just happened to pick a good one this time!  I wish I could say the same with helping my son pick out some last week for his HS reunion….. but unfortunately, I blew that one!  This one, however, is perfect!  I love eating a good piece of cold melon!  They are so much better when they are cold.

Can you see how there are 6 areas with pockets of seeds? Those are the areas you scoop out with a spoon to create a Watermelon Wagon Wheel. The trick is leaving enough space between the scoop outs to create the spokes!

Eating watermelon always brings back lots of fond memories for me.  The first being camping trips we took as kids .  We used to use the creek as our refrigerator for the melons.  My Dad would just set them far enough in the water that the cold water would keep the melon cool.  Very often, we would save the melon for our trip home from camping.  I have some great memories of pulling off to the side of the road with our camper right at Rock Port Dam.  My Aunt and Uncle and cousins were usually right behind us.  We’d pull off that road and cut up the watermelon and eat it right there.  That was part of the fun of the trip home!

I don’t think I went camping with my parents much past the age of 13 or so.  After the camping trips were over, it then became the thing to use our back yard as the place to eat melons.  Usually, at some family gathering.  We would make sure the melons were good and cold and then take them out back and cut them up.  Everyone would sit around eating melons and spitting the pits in a bucket.  Good times.

I remember as a little girl my Dad teaching me to make a wagon wheel out of a piece of watermelon.  You cut a good piece off the melon so it’s still in its circular form.  Then you take a spoon and make a circular cut at each point where there is a pocket of watermelon seeds.  You’ll see there are about 6 areas around the outer edge of the watermelon piece that when cut away with a spoon, forms a wagon wheel with the rest of the watermelon piece.  My Dad and I used to see who could make the best wagon wheel out of the watermelon.  Of course, once you cut away those pieces eating them as you go, and then took time to admire your handiwork…. you were left with the very best part of the melon still to eat!  I’d make my way to the center heart of that melon piece by eating everything else around it first.  Then I’d savor that watermelon heart!  Hmmm Hmmmm……  Great memories!

I’ve seen some pretty interesting pictures of things carved out of a whole watermelon….. but I had more fun making a basic wagon wheel out of one piece of watermelon than you can even imagine!  My husband thought I was crazy the first time I did it!  He’d never seen it and thought it was pretty silly.  After all… you were just going to eat it anyway, why not cut it up and eat it?  What’s all the fuss about?  Ah….. but the time it took to try and make that wagon wheel look good was as much fun as eating it!

I do love watermelon.  Especially when its juicy, cold , sweet and not over ripe!  I’m grateful for watermelon!  I’m grateful to my Dad for teaching me how to make a wagon wheel from a piece of watermelon…. but more importantly for taking the time to do it together!  Watermelon holds lots of memories for me!

What do you associate eating watermelon with?

I am Grateful!  How are you?