The Fourth of July celebrations are over for another year. I hope you celebrated our Nation’s birthday enjoying at least one summertime tradition. One of my personal favorite summer traditions is eating good old watermelon. (Fortunately, I live close to Beardstown, Illinois, which grows the sweetest watermelon you have ever tasted : ) I remember when I was growing up the whole family enjoying this special treat ice cold, on the patio, eating straight from the rind. No forks were needed. Just two hands, your mouth and plenty of napkins. Of course you had to spit the seeds out as you ate through your slice. And sometimes you had to see how far your could actually spit the seeds!
Today, I still enjoy a slice (or two) of sweet watermelon in the summer. I have, however, also learned how to enjoy this favorite treat in other ways besides straight from the rind. I recently discovered a recipe that was published in the 1970’s by the Karo Syrup Company for making watermelon sherbet. This recipe does not need an ice cream freezer and uses just 4-5 ingredients. It is fabulous. To make watermelon sherbet you will need:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1/2 c. milk 3 cups cubed (seeded) watermelon 1 c. light corn syrup
In a small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over milk. Stir over low heat until dissolved. Place in blender with watermelon and corn syrup; cover. Blend on high speed 30 seconds. Pour into 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Cover; freeze overnight. Soften slightly at room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon into large bowl; with mixer at low speed (I used a food processor), beat until smooth, but not melted. Pour into freezer container. Cover; freeze about 4 hours or until firm. Soften at room temperature for easier scooping. Makes about 4 cups.
Optional: Add 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves to the blender with the watermelon for the perfect herbal touch to the finished sherbet. Just blend and freeze following remaining instructions above.