I have not known watermelon until this moment. I obsessed over the watermelons in my garden at Tulipwood this summer. “How do I know if they’re really, truly ready?” I proclaimed across the woods, and then on twitter, and facebook, and to random family members who gave me funny looks. Twitter produced the most answers, as it often does.

“The stem will be dry and brown,” one person said.

“It will be heavy and smell like watermelon,” another said.

“The underside of it will be yellow but the rest green,” someone else said.

My watermelon was none of these things. But it had been sitting there in the garden all summer, bigger than the rest of the watermelons, and it was perfectly green and round.

It looked like a plump pea, shelled right from the pod.

And so, because I knew I was going to write this post in honor of Maria from “Two Peas and Their Pod,” I decided it was time to snip it and turn it into something festive…

This beverage is for you Maria, and the new pea you are about to introduce into the family…

I gathered a little mint as well… mint is so prolific around these parts.

And because I couldn’t help it, I filled the basket with some other things and skipped over the hill like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie.

Not.

But that’s a nice image isn’t it?

I decided to try out watermelon agua fresca, which is Spanish for “fresh water.” It isn’t a smoothie and it isn’t flavored water.

Instead it is the perfect middle ground between water and fruit, thin and clean tasting, but decidedly filled with the fruit flavor.

And guess what else…

The watermelon was ripe!

It was beyond ripe. It was ruby and as sweet as watermelon has ever tasted. Like I said, I have not had watermelon until this moment.

To make an agua fresca with watermelon, you carve it out of its rind…

Slice it vertically…

Then horizontally…

Until you have a bowl of sweet pieces ready for the blender.

Pour in water now…

And blend until smooth and frothy.

I love froth.

Then you strain it. That’s what gives it that smooth clean feeling in your mouth.

With a spatula, press it through the strainer to get around the seeds and pulp.

Then you can add your own personal flair. Normally I would use fresh limes. But I didn’t have any handy so this fun lime juice was a good substitute.

Pour in the lime juice along with any sweetener that you’re in the mood for. This lime juice already had some so I didn’t add any extra. But this would be a good place for some agave sweetener or honey. Or as my grandmother would prefer, fresh stevia leaves.

Or nothing at all! This watermelon was already so sweet.

Before serving, muddle some mint in a glass.

Then pour ‘er in.

You can even add the mint flowers for good measure.

And of course you could use so many other kinds of fruits here too. Honeydew perhaps? Juicy peaches?

Cheers to you Maria and the new addition to your family!

“Watermelon Agua Fresca”

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

“Watermelon Agua Fresca”

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon, (about 6 pounds with the rind)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave or honey (optional)
  • Lime slices, for garnish (optional)
  • Mint leaves, for garnish, or your other favorite herb
  • Crushed ice to serve

Instructions

  1. Cut the watermelon flesh from the rind into cubes.
  2. In a blender, process half the watermelon pieces with 1/2 cup of water until smooth.
  3. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to press the liquid through the pulp and seeds. Repeat this process with the remaining melon and water.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and optional agave or honey. Muddle some mint into the bottom of a glass along with some ice, and pour the liquid into the glass. Garnish with lime slices and mint.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2011/08/31/recipes/watermelon-agua-fresca-pea/

Here are all of the other fun recipes from my friends who are participating in this Virtual Baby Shower for Two Peas & Their Pod

Drinks

Simple Bites – Lemon Balm infused Lemonade

Ingredients, Inc. – Healthy Fruit Punch

Food for My Family – Lemongrass Soda

Heather’s Dish – Mixed Fruit Punch

She Wears Many Hats – Mini Pistachio Smoothies

Georgia Pellegrini – Watermelon Agua Fresca & a New Pea

Appetizers/Savory Bites

With Style and Grace – Truffle Popcorn

Family Fresh Cooking – Baby Peas & Cheese Frittata

Barbara Bakes – Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and Fruit

Aggie’s Kitchen – Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette

Reluctant Entertainer – Nutella Berry Bruschetta

Dessert

Dorie Greenspan – French Lemon Cream Tart

TidyMom – Blue and Chocolate Cake Balls

i am baker – Baby Pea Baby Shower Cake

Brown Eyed Baker – Pavlova

Picky Palate – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich

What’s Gaby Cooking – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Cookin’ Canuck – Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondies

Kevin and Amanda – Baby Blue Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cups

Sweetopia – Decorated Sugar Cookies

Mountain Mama Cooks – Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Sweetapolita – Little Pea Sugar Cookie Pops

Bake at 350 – Petit Fours with fondant pea pods

RecipeGirl – Baby Button Cookies

RecipeBoy – Mud Cups with Gummy Worms

Add a Pinch – Blackberry Tartlets

Dine and Dish – Oven Baked Cinnamon Apples

Crafts

Wenderly – Handmade Sweet Pea Cards

Our Best Bites – How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece