Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hey, what's wrong with watermelon?

My father hosted a family dinner last night and early in the day I called and offered to bring, in addition to an apple pie, a salad. I am trying to whip through Mixt Salads as quickly as possible so I can move on to something more exciting, like Thai Street Food.

Tipsy, flipping through Mixt Salads: How does this sound, potatoes with truffle cheese? It's not really gooey-looking, just roasted potatoes with some cheese. I think it looks amazing.

Father: (silence.)

Tipsy: Or this: Tomato and watermelon. I could chunk up some of your homegrown tomatoes, combine with watermelon, and add some feta. Might be interesting.

Father: (silence.)

Tipsy: Or wow, this one: grilled sourdough with heirloom tomatoes.

Father: (Silence.)

Tipsy: Or grilled corn with baby tomatoes. Is there still corn in the market?

Father: I think there's still corn.

Tipsy: This one is incredibly boring: heirloom tomatoes with olive oil and sea salt.

Father: I think simple is better.

Tipsy: What does that mean?

Father: Just that simpler things are usually better.

Tipsy: Are you saying I should just do the heirloom tomatoes with sea salt?

Father: I think that would be best.

Tipsy (affectionately but not without exasperation): You're so boring!

Father (exasperatedly but not without affection. Presumably.): This just means you don't have to buy a fucking watermelon.

Tipsy: Don't use 'fucking' with me!

Father: Don't you think simple things are always better?

Tipsy: I'll be there at five with the pie and I'll make the boring salad.

Father: You're a good person.


For the record, I do not think simple things are always better. I think simple things are sometimes better.

Mixt Salads recipe #5: Pure Heirloom. You slice tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt, dress with olive oil, garnish with torn opal basil. It was simple and it was really good and it was boring and I didn't need a cookbook to tell me how to do this.

Pleasant evening. My father fusses over his orchard like some people fuss over their orchids, with the result that he has the most beautifully pruned, productive and orderly backyard orchard I've ever seen. Owen and Stella get a thrill out of picking fruit. See photo at top.

Teenagers get a thrill out of laying a gracious table.
See how thrilled?
I can't believe "jeggings" is an actual word.


  1. Watermelon is tricky. We did a watermelon, tomato, mint and balsamic vinagar salad a while back and while the tomato didn't really work for us, the other three flavors were a lovely blend. More recently we tried watermelon with feta, kalamata olives, basil, onions and lime juice... It sounded delicious but it was a bit too busy. Ended up tasting like a waste of good watermelon.

  2. I can't believe "jeggings" is word, either. I'm pretty sure it will be on Webster's list next year. They've relaxed their standards lately. Sartorially speaking, I don't like the look but I don't mind it. At least there is something is left to the imagination...

    Tomatoes and watermelon? Too much liquid in my salad. Pick one or the other.

  3. Nice Mamet-like dialogue


  4. I reject "jeggings" and refer to them as denim leggings instead.

    Nobody at my house thinks my salad idea sounds good: peaches and tomatoes with basil. But I can't stop thinking about it . . . I bet it would be cool.

  5. Watermelon has really come into its own lately. You are supposed to put it in everything!

  6. i like your idea layne. and i would like some feta or goat cheese on top too. i think. let us know how that turns out when you make it, because you know you're going to make it.

  7. watermelon is awesome. best with other fruits. I'm going to try the salad.