Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Watermelon Basket

Happy July!!

Do you LOVE a great table??  Extras??

I'm so glad...

I do too!!!

I'm extra, or so I've been told... at first I wasn't sure whether this term was, in fact, a compliment... after doing a little research on the matter, I'd say you can take it either way...  I'm taking it as a compliment, at least that is what I choose to believe.  "Extra" according to my definition is as follows:

  ex·tra (adjective

1.  describing a person who celebrates in an over-the-top manner more or beyond what is usual or expected or typically deemed necessary.  2. the exuberance, joy, and enthusiasm for the mundane or basic, satisfied only by adding details (ie: sprinkles, menus, coordinating paper products, place cards, confetti, hand-lettering, baubles, flower arrangements, party favors, candles, design elements, coasters, ribbons, garlands, centerpieces, tiered trays, baskets, place-settings, napkin rings, and or other visual celebratory enhancements that create an inviting and beautiful aesthetic. 3. one who achieves satisfaction and enjoyment from creating memorable events, meaningful holidays, and beautiful opportunities for family, friends, and acquaintances to enjoy carefully curated details. "Karri Perry is extra, and she wears it like a badge of honor as she adds sprinkles to her cupcake."

Always define who you are on your own terms 
and never be fearful of rewriting the 
definition when necessary.  
Xo. -Karri Perry

I cannot help myself when it comes to going the "extra" mile for holiday celebrations...I love all the little details.  The table... it's the main event... where our meal will take I love to decorate the table too!!

 I began my July 4th table with a gorgeous paper runner from Hester and Cook.  Navy and white stripes laid a great foundation... I followed with fresh flowers, flags, super cute picnicware from Walmart.  The plates are from the Better Homes and Gardens line and are perfectly picnic-ready!!  I made the napkin rings from paper towel tubes and ribbon...with the help of my hot glue gun.  Finally, we have bottled root beers for every guest... and to add to the fun... my Watermelon Basket!!  How extra is this?!

Speaking of details, this watermelon basket is the little extra detail that just makes me smile!!

Five Reasons to Carve a Watermelon Basket THIS Summer:

1.  It's so darn cute... it's extra, I'm extra and it will be extra cute on your buffet, or picnic table.

2.  Economics. Summer fruit is in season...especially melon, my watermelon basket was under $10!

3.  EASY.  Takes about 30 minutes! Using basic kitchen can transform your fruit!

4.  Healthy.  Extra fruit is always a good idea.

5.  It's FUN and not a "regular" fruit tray... and melon balls are somehow more delicious too!!

Get the recipe and directions here:

Watermelon Basket
Karri Perry | Blue Ribbon Kitchen

1 whole Watermelon: Pick a watermelon that matches your needs... large watermelon = a big crowd, be sure to consider the visual appearance too, choose a melon without too many blemishes and that is a nice green color, it will look prettier on your table.
1 honeydew-balled
1 cantaloupe-balled
2 cups of seedless grapes-rinsed
2 cups strawberries-rinsed clean
2 cups Bing/Ranier Cherries-rinsed

On a flat surface place the watermelon on a clean kitchen towel. (This helps the watermelon to not slide around while carving and catches drips.) Be sure to pick the "best side" of the melon, if there are rough spots or any yellowing consider making that the bottom of the basket.

Next, decide which way you want to create the basket handle.

Using a serrated knife, create a 3-inch basket handle. (I recommend 3-4 inch handle because if the handle is too thin it will break easily)

To create the handle: choose where the handle will be, center it.  Carefully and slowly, slice the melon to halfway on either side of the  3-inch "handle area". (See the graphic below) Next, slice the melon horizontally, meeting the first cuts for the handle.  This will create two watermelon wedges and the basket handle shape.

If the basket shape needs to be adjusting, use a paring knife to make small slices until you have the desired look/basket shape.

Use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to remove the red watermelon.  Reserve all the melon in a large zip-top bag or sealable container.  You will end up with extra fruit, which can be used to re-fill the basket as guests enjoy the fruit basket.

Remove all of the red watermelon, scraping the inside until you reach the rind--similar to hollowing out a Halloween pumpkin.  Discard the scraps.

Optional: To decorate the edges, use a paring knife to carefully carve shapes, scallops, or add fun designs.

Prepare the honeydew and cantaloupe by balling the melon and placing it in a zip-top or sealable container.  If using other fruits, be sure to rinse and clean the fruit.

Fill the basket.  Once the watermelon basket is prepared, fill with the reserved and prepared fruits.  Be sure to add a large spoon or tongs to help guests easily serve themselves.

Tip:  The watermelon basket handle is fragile, when carrying the heavy fruit-filled watermelon basket, be sure to hold from the bottom and do not carry from the handle.

EXTRA TIP: To free up refrigerator space, consider using a large cooler filled with ice to store your watermelon basket until ready to serve.
Wishing you a very happy July 4th holiday!!
May this Independence Day be full of 
EXTRA good things and lots of fun!

xo.  Karri

Sources: Red gingham placemats; Southern Living Collection; Centerpiece from Better Homes and Gardens Collection; Star Tin from Target 2019; Napkins Pier One 2018; Ribbons Michael's, JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby--recycled from past years. Red striped napkins and popsicle napkins Target 2020.

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