Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thomson's LiteMo, or Gitmo Lite, Lures Melonaires!

O Beloved one, How did you manage to, so heartily eat those slices of melon ? Just one slice of the melon had such an effect on me, then how did you manage to eat so many slices ?" Luqman(A.S.) replied: "O Friend, from your hands I have received hundreds of gifts. The burden of thanks upon me is so great, that my back has gone crooked. Hence, I felt ashamed that the hand that had granted me so much favours, if one day some distastefulness or bitterness should come, how can I turn away from it ? O Friend, the pleasure of knowing that it comes from your hands has changed the bitterness of the melon to sweetness." Luqman Servant of Allah

Thanks Illinois Former Elected ( well not Pat Quinn of course) Officials for making Thomson Illinois the Epi-Center of Illinois Melonaires!

Former Governor Pat Quinn and Former Senator Dick Durbin are True Men of Genius!

Thomson, Illinois is the Melon Capital of the World. Some argue that Illinois will become more of a Terrorist Epicenter - Well, Never Pass Up a Catastrophe! Gitmo North will attract Terrorists You Say? Bring 'em on! They Gotta Eat and No one can pass up a delicious Thomason Melon!

Thomson, IL will become the World Melon Market. Melons Rock the Casbah and the Thompson Center and soon the White House!

Dig into the Melon groove! Futures and Commodities Melons ain;t no Oddity!

From High Plains Midwest AG Journal no less!

Time to thump the melons

Watermelon is no longer just the stuff of barbecues and seed spitting contests. It is all grown up and playing a sweet note in dishes, not just dribbling juices down your face.

The first problem one encounters when face-to-face with a melon is how do you tell when it is ripe. You can always cut a plug and taste, providing the melon is in your own patch, (for some strange reason purveyors of the juicy fruits frown upon plugging).

Thumping is fun, but it doesn't work for me. Sniffing, does however. Just go nose to nose with the fruit and if you can smell the taste of the melon, it is ripe. Some people push a bit on the stem end and if it gives a bit that is another indication of ripeness. Pay no attention if a melon has a light colored area on its fat body, that merely marks the part of the melon that was lying on the earth and out of reach of the sun. It has nothing to do with ripeness not with sweetness.

Sweetness is what most people enjoy about melons. The higher the fructose content the better we like it. The darker the meat of the melon, the more sugar it holds. If you are buying by the slice or the wedge, you can eyeball the color and pick accordingly. Avoid mealy melons as they are the old guys who lounged around in the sun too long. All melons and most fruits take kindly to salt and to lemon or lime juice as they enhance flavor and makes the melon taste sweeter.

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad

Red and yellow watermelon (or a combination of different kinds of melon) when served together make a colorful salad, but you can use just one kind if you like.

1 1/2 pounds red watermelon
1 1/2 pounds yellow melon
6 oz fresh goat cheese, cut into cubes or crumbled
1/2 cup hazelnuts (or other nuts), toasted and chopped*
8 fresh mint leaves, julienned
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt

Cut rinds off melons, leaving fruit intact. Remove any seeds. Slice melons into 1-inch thick slices. Cut slices into long fingers or triangles. Place melon on a chilled platter. Intermingle goat cheese with melon pieces. Sprinkle hazelnuts, mint, olive oil and salt over the top. Makes 4 servings. *Note: Spread nuts on a baking sheet. Toast 10 minutes in a 300 F oven.


Watermelon & Cherry Tomato Salsa

Serve with grilled fish or use the salsa as a salad.
1 1/2 pounds red watermelon
1 1/2 pounds yellow watermelon or other melon
1 1/2 cups red and gold cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro or parsley leaves
2 teaspoons minced shallot or scallions
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons pure olive oil
1 tablespoon wine or raspberry vinegar, more to taste

Cut both melons into 1/2-inch cubes, remove seeds and place in a large bowl. Cut tomatoes in half or quarters and add to the bowl. Lightly chop cilantro or parsley, add to the watermelon, along with shallot, salt, olive oil and vinegar. Mix well. Depending on sweetness of melons and acidity of tomatoes, adjust seasoning with salt or vinegar, if needed. Serves 6 to 8 as a salad.


Watermelon & Summer Berry Gazpacho

Berries of any kind can be used in this refreshing malange. It can be served for dessert, or as a first course or as a lunch.

6 1/2 cups cubed watermelon, to yield 4 cups puree
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
10 mint leaves, finely sliced
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse cracked black pepper
Pinch cayenne, optional

Seed melon cubes, if necessary. Put cubes in a blender and process until smooth. Pour puree through a strainer, pushing gently. Discard pulp. The remaining puree will be very thin, almost like juice; set aside in refrigerator. For gazpacho: To 4 cups of puree, add the lemon juice, vinegar, mint, onion, berries, salt, pepper and cayenne; mix well. Chill at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve in chilled bowls. Makes 4 servings.


Watermelon Agua Fresca

This bright red and refreshing strained drink can also be made with yellow watermelon, honeydew or other varieties of melon.

3 pounds ripe watermelon
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
Squeeze of lime

Remove any seeds, then cut all but about 1 cup of melon into chunks and place in blender or food processor. (It's okay if a few seeds make it into the blender.) Add enough water to blend, sugar and lime juice; blend until quite smooth. Strain through a fine strainer, pressing solids to get as much liquid out as possible, and add remaining water, plus more sugar and lime juice to taste. Cut remaining melon into small dice and add to the agua fresca. Chill until cold or serve immediately over ice. Makes 4 glasses.


Chunky Cataloupe Agua Fresca

This unstrained agua fresca has chunks of melon and more water than the strained version. Pick the ripest melon you can find. You can also use honeydew or specialty melons. This will hold in the refrigerator for a day or two.

1 1/2 pounds cantaloupe, about 3 cups chopped
2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
Squeeze of lime or lemon

Scoop out the seeds, then cut the melon into large chunks and place in the blender. Add enough water to blend, sugar and lime juice and blend on "liquefy" until quite smooth, up to a few minutes. Add remaining water and more sugar and lime juice to taste, if you like. Chill until cold or serve immediately over ice. Makes 4 glasses.

It's easy to see where watermelon got its name!

Date: 8/22/06

Thomson - More Than Gitmo-Lite It's America's Melon Bite!,_Illinois

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