July 24th, 2017

Watermelon… I Chew, Chew, CHEWS You!

I’ve had gummies on my mind as of late. My brother, Ryan, recently visited to celebrate his big 4-0, a surprise of epic proportions planned by my soon-to-be (and epic-ally awesome) sister-in-law. While he was here, he bought gummy cola bottles.

I pity the fool who doesn’t know what these are.

They. Are. So. Good.

They remind me of summers up north at the cottage my great-grandfather built on Michigan’s Suttons Bay. My parents would dump us off with grandma and grandpa (yes, as a parent now myself, I am intimately aware of the value of kid-free time, so “dump” is a harsh word!) for a week or two where we would run amuck. For real.

From laps around Ms. Chimoski’s cherry orchard, to liaising about at the water’s edge under the big willow tree on the grassy expanse of the doctor’s lawn next door, to running pell-mell down the dock to splash a canonball into the Bay itself — where we’d remain until we we literally turned blue (and I mean teeth-chattering blue)… we knew no boundaries.

We’d marvel at the swans on their daily paddle past the big front windows, trail after my grandfather while he puttered in the shed across the street, and glumly endured rainy weather with games on the porch, a place that doubled as our bedroom each night, where, on two pull-out twin couches, the water would lull us to sleep. We’d wake in the morning to the smell and sound of Grandma making pork sausage patties in her big cast iron skillet over the gas stove, ready to cause another ruckus throughout the day in place where our mother played as a child, too.

To give our great-grandmother a break, and allow silence to fall for a few precious moments over our summer playground, Grandma would occasionally take us into town. Usually on a run to Tom’s Food Market. That’s where Ryan and I first met and fell in love with these delicious little gummy treats… and chocolate seafoam candy. And those little sugary dots on paper. And the wax bottles filled with colored sugar water.

(Wonder why we ran amuck? All that sugar…)

Anyway, I miss those days. These memories are so sweet, and with my baby brother hitting this big milestone, and his reminder of the soft spot in my heart for those cola bottles, I’m a bit nostalgic.

Though my plan was to write about the watermelon cocktails,  I never got to making them while he and his crew were here celebrating. (Yeah, our two infants and a their three-year-old? Vodka straight out of the bottle is more like it… but lest you worry, Sarah made a boozy concoction last week!) Thankfully, I had an epiphany this week while making panna cotta for a client. The Knox Gelatine said something about making gummy candy out of juice.

Hold up a minute here… I think I pinned something like that to the We The Eaters Pinterest account. I checked, and, lo and behold, they were actually watermelon!

So here you have it.

Sour Watermelon Gummies

This recipe was inspired by a similar one for Sour Watermelon Gummies on Meatified.com. Not only are these actually waaaayyy better for you than the cola bottle concoction, they are a great source of collagen in the summer when you are not consuming bone broth by the vat like we do come winter!

Ingredients

4 cups fresh watermelon chunks (or 2 cups juice)
6 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin (how could I use anything but the “Great Lakes” version in this post?)
½ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
*¼ cup raw honey (adjust depending on the sweetness of your melon!)

Method

Liquefy the fresh watermelon in a blender, then strain the juice to remove pulp. You should produce about 2 cups of juice.

Skim off the white foam from the top, then divide the juice – half into a bowl, the other half a small saucepan.

Sprinkle the gelatin evenly across the top of the gelatin in the bowl and allow to “bloom” for about 5 minutes. It will turn into a sort of grainy gel.

Now, heat the juice in the pan gently until just warm. DO NOT bring this to a simmer. Add the gelatin and juice mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and your desired amount of honey.

Pour into a silicone mold. I used this one, but made another batch for my Marvel-loving husband, Adam, in this! No mold? Make your own! Just kidding. Who has time for that? You can make these in a glass baking dish, too. (Just coat with a little coconut oil to help ease them out, then cut into squares when they are solid.)

Chill for about two hours or until set. If you have trouble getting them out of the mold, you can freeze for 15 minutes. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container. They keep about three to five days.

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Posted in Dear Diary
One comment on “Watermelon… I Chew, Chew, CHEWS You!
  1. Ryan Blaszyk says:

    An article that hits at the core of my soul and forces one to recall the grandeur of youth! I can’t thank you enough for the flood of imagery that this invoked. I miss those summers and freezing waters that brought sheer happiness to my heart! The sight of grandpa in my mind feels like it was yesterday. It also makes me miss him and his shenanigans. Great-grandma Gigi will forever hold a fist in the air, “quiet down you two”, highlight reel every time I watch Wheel of Fortune!
    Thank you for this and for the epicness that was my 40th birthday and week in DC.
    With love,
    Your summer cohort

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