Cooking Simple With Your Family

Collage of adults cooking with their children - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyWe have been interviewing Keisha T. Prosser – The Mobile Cooking Teacher on Using Your Cooking Skills To Teach Others About Good Nutrition (March. 15, 2016) and  The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Inspiring A New Generation Of Cooks (March. 19, 2019). To see the interviews again just click and follow the above links.

Keisha T. ProsserSplendid Recipes: Today we are going to let Keisha explain the right time to start teaching your children cooking skills. Okay Keisha, we pass the platform over to you.

Keisha: Thanks Randy. Do you have children? Have you ever thought when would be a good time to start teaching my child how to cook? But not only cook, but cook healthy meals.

It is true we are all busy, but our children will not always be with us, and they need to know the importance of COOKING. And it doesn’t matter if they are a girl or boy, we all should have some basic cooking skills.

Okay, so when is a good time to start teaching your children? Let’s talk about age groups and what are some skills they can learn during those ages.

Teaching Children Age Appropriate Cooking Skills

Here are the age appropriate cooking skills to teach your children.

Preschoolers – 6 years old

young boy learning to cut with a knife - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyThis age group can help preparing fruit and pasta salads, help with setting the table, and for those who can read, they can read the recipe ingredients and directions with you. Doing so will help them learn to follow recipe directions.

They can measure ingredients, learn how to use a food timer, including a meat thermometer. They can help with making smoothies by allowing the child to place the ingredients into the blender.

This is also a wonderful age group to let help with young girl helping to make cookies - Cooking Simple With Your Familybaking cookies, as they can learn the effort that goes into making one of their favorite snacks.

Explain to them how herbs and spices flavor a recipe. You might think teaching this to a preschooler to 6 year old would be something they wouldn’t understand, which may be true at first. But repetition is key to teaching children the skills of cooking.

Other things this age group can help with in food preparation is preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner, helping with menu planning, as well as helping to clean up the kitchen after eating.

This age group is the right time to start and teach them the importance of eating healthy.

Ages 7-12

young boy learning to cook - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyContinue with what they have learned up to age six, that is measuring ingredients, making smoothies, menu planning, and help with cleaning the kitchen.

Ages 7 to 12 is a good age group to start teaching kitchen prep work, that is cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and cheeses that will go into the recipe you are preparing.

Continue with teaching them the importance of healthy eating, flavoring foods with herbs and spices, including following and reading recipe directions.

 

Ages 13-18 

 teen boy preparing a recipe - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyThis age group can start learning to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner by themselves.

They even make their favorite cookies on their own, including learning how to cook different cuisines, like a simple Asian stir-fry or Mexican food, like tacos.

They still should be encouraged to read and follow recipe directions. At this age let them sit with a paper and pencil and plan out the weeks menu.

Letting them do this will help them learn appreciation for planning ahead to eat, instead of waiting to the last minute when you are really hungry, and may go for some junk food.

Cooking Simple

We all would like meals to be done in 20 minutes or less, at least I do.

young girl cooking - - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyHere are some simple ingredients you can teach your child to mix together to form different recipes in the kitchen.

You can do 3 easy things with these ingredients: Lemon, Garlic, Salt, Sugar, Olive Oil, and Onion.

Salad Dressing: Lemon, Olive Oil, Garlic, Onion, Salt and Lemon Zest.

Marinade: Lemon, Garlic, Onion and Olive Oil

The ideas are endless with these simple ingredients.

Having your family helping in the kitchen more is one way to make sure everyone is eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Preparing meals together brings you closer as a family. You are teaching your family how to cook healthier and smarter.

Remember, the heart of the home is in the kitchen, and a healthy kitchen, is a healthy heart.

Splendid Recipes: Thanks so much Keisha, for taking the time out to share all that you have with us on teaching good nutrition through cooking, inspiring future cooks, and cooking together as a family.

Keisha: No thank you Randy for this opportunity. And I appreciate any one who would like to follow me on any one of the social net works I am on.

Splendid Recipes: Yes follow Keisha on any one of the following social net works and keep up with the latest adventures of – The Mobile Cooking Teacher.

What Others Are Reading:

The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Inspiring A New Generation Of Cooks

The Mobile Cooking Chef - Inspiring A New Generation Of CooksWe continue our interview with Keisha T. Prosser – The Mobile Cooking Teacher (view first interview here: Using Your Cooking Skills To Teach Others About Good Nutrition).

Keisha T. ProsserSplendid Recipes: Welcome back Keisha.

Keisha: Hi Randy and thanks, I am glad to be here again.

Splendid Recipes: Would it be fair to say that you as an instructor in cooking are inspiring a new generation of cooks?

Keisha: Yes I feel that I am. Young children and teens today are exposed to a lot of unhealthy foods, such as junk food as it is referred to.

Splendid Recipes: Tell us what are the first things that you are teaching this new generation of cooks?

Keisha: I am teaching them the basics to good cooking.

Splendid Recipes: And what are the basics Keisha?

Keisha: Well, there are five things all cooks should know and incorporate regularly when it comes to preparing a wholesome meal.

young boy in a cooking class

A Young Boy Learning To Cook With Keisha T. Prosser – The Mobile Cooking Teacher

Splendid Recipes: I like the way you say “wholesome meal.” Besides teaching these young children and teens to cook, you are also passionate about the food being wholesome.

Keisha: Yes Randy that is correct. They need to learn that they can make great food for themselves without depending on ordering food out from a fast food establishment.

Splendid Recipes: Okay, so explain to us the five things you explain to your students before you start cooking.

washing hands before cooking

A Cook Or Food Server Should Always Wash Their Hands BEFORE – DURING – and AFTER Preparing Food

Keisha: The very first things you need to do before you even touch your cooking utensils, recipe card or book, and food items, is wash your hands. Washing your hands cannot be overemphasized, as it can prevent food borne illnesses.

A lot of food borne illness come from cooks and food servers who are not washing their hands properly.  A cook, either it be one working in public food serve or a home cook needs to always make sure they wash their hands just before they get started.

That includes after touching raw meats, taking out the trash, going to the bathroom, smoking a cigarette, and even answering the cell phone.

Splendid Recipes: Remind us the proper washing of the hands before, during and after preparing food.

Keisha: Wash your hands under running water for 20 seconds, and be sure it is warm water. You also need to use an anti-bacteria soap and a single paper towel.

Splendid Recipes: Okay now your students have their hands washed. What instructions do you teach about preparing raw uncooked foods?

Keisha: Always make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables before using them to cook with. Also a meat thermometer is not only for use during Thanksgiving. We need to use a meat thermometer all year around, every time you cook with meat.

Food, and that includes raw meat and produce, needs to be cooked at its proper temperature.

Splendid Recipes: Can you tell us the proper use of a thermometer in cooking?

Keisha: Sure. First I would like to say that it is very important to make use of a cooking thermometer, because in the United States alone, 1 in 6 Americans or about 3,000 individuals will get sick and die from food poisoning this year.

Splendid Recipes: And all because a food preparer failed to take precautions and wash their hands. Wow, it’s so important to do that. Okay now tell us about the proper cooking temperatures.

Keisha: The proper way to use a cooking or meat thermometer is to place it in the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, fat or gristle. Wait for 3 to 5 seconds to read the thermometer.

Splendid Recipes: What are the proper cooking temperatures for the different types of raw meat cooked.

Meat ThermometerKeisha: Well, for beef, pork, or veal it needs to be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.78 °C). Ground Meats need cooking to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.1 °C), poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.8 °C), that includes a chicken that is either whole, cut into sections or ground.

Eggs and any dish that is made with eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.1 °C), and fish needs only be cooked to 145 F. Fahrenheit (62.7 °C).

Splendid Recipes: What about leftovers?

Keisha: Thanks for asking that question. Even left overs, though they have been properly cooked, still need to be warmed to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.8 °C) to kill any possible illness causing bacteria.

Not cooking or rewarming your food properly is another way to get a food borne illness.

Splendid Recipes: Okay, so we have discussed two tips that are important to cooking. 1. Washing your hands, before, during, and after food preparations. And 2. Cooking foods to their proper temperature.

Both of these tips help to avoid food borne illnesses. I think you have 3 more tips Keisha?

cooking-class-students-following-recipe-directionsKeisha: Yes I do. The third one makes reference to a French culinary phrase, which is Misen En Place, which means, putting in place. I explain to my students that being a good cook requires everything to be in its place.

You also need to read the recipe through to make sure you have all the ingredients and cooking utensils needed. Because it’s not fun when you’re ready to start baking some cookies and you don’t have any baking soda, vanilla extract or eggs.

Splendid Recipes: So, once the student cooks have their, Misen En Place as you called it, what’s next?

Keisha: A good cook needs to keep their kitchen area and prep area organized and clean. A cook needs to make sure they keep raw meat and ready to eat foods separate. I recommend that you start prepping your vegetables first. Place them in a bowl off to the side and then start on your raw meat.

It is also important to have separate cutting boards, that is one for your raw meat and another for your vegetables. You can buy color coded cutting board for this very purpose.

color coded culinary cutting boards

Color Coded Cutting Boards

Splendid Recipes: Yes, we have written about that here at Splendid Recipes and More. Our article was Stocking the Kitchen with Useful Gadgets for Healthy Cooking. We wrote that to reduce the chance of cross contamination, why not use flexible cutting boards, which are of different colors for use with different types of food such as raw meat, cooked meat, dairy and vegetables.

Keisha: Yes that is right. I show my students the different colors they need, such as a beige colored cutting board for fish, blue for cooked foods, green for fruits and vegetables, red for raw meat, white for dairy products, and yellow for uncooked or raw poultry.

Splendid Recipes: You mentioned Keisha at the start of our interview that you are teaching your young students the basics to good cooking. Would it be fair to say your hope is, after your students have gone through your cooking classes, that they will rely on their own kitchen, fresh food and their cooking skills to eat healthy.

 Keisha: Oh yes, that is so right.

Splendid Recipes: Okay, that is 4 tips. What is the fifth tip?

shopping listKeisha: The fifth one is making a shopping list. The wasteful thing to do is to go to the super market without a shopping list and even on a hungry stomach.

If you go to the market hungry, then your stomach will actually be your shopping list. You are so hungry, that you may just walk up and down all the wrong aisles. And you end up going home with over 95% of your shopping bags filled with process foods and junk foods.

The best thing is to always make sure you go shopping on a full stomach, and with a shopping list. Having one will help you to avoid walking down the aisles that have boxed cereals, candy, canned foods, bagged chips and other foods.

Splendid Recipes: So the secret to shopping for food, is go to the store on a full stomach, and have a shopping list to buy only what you need, and too avoid the canned and boxed food aisles.

Keisha: Yes, that’s right. The secret is to walk the parameter of the store, and do you know why?

Splendid Recipes: I have an idea, but tell us why?

Keisha: The parameter of the store contains the food you need, which includes fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy.

Splendid Recipes: So to recap the 5 tips you shared.

Keisha: Yes, the tips included…

  1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  2. Cooking foods to their proper temperature.
  3. Misen En Place or make sure you kitchen area and prep area organized and clean. Also make sure you have everything before cooking or baking.
  4. To prevent cross contamination and food borne illnesses, use color coded flexible cutting boards.
  5.  Have a shopping list, don’t go to the store on a empty stomach, and shop the  parameter of the store.

Splendid Recipes: Will Keisha, that is all the time we have. What will you share with us next?

Keisha: I would like to share about cooking together as a family.

Splendid Recipes: Great we look forward to that. Return March 20, 2016 to hear what Keisha will share with us on cooking together as a family.

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Using Your Cooking Skills To Teach Others About Good Nutrition

cooking class, culinary, food and people concept - happy group of friends and male chef cook cooking in kitchen

The more you know the easier learning something new becomes. That also applies to cooking. Yes, anybody can acquire cooking skills. When you know and understand the basics of cooking, that leads to preparing good nutritious meals, something you can’t find at a sit down, or drive through restaurant.

Some individuals have taken their knowledge of cooking and preparing nutritious meals a step further. How so?

With their knowledge of cooking and nutrition, they want to share with others the benefits of turning food preparation in a home kitchen into a healthy nutritious meal.

Our guest today is one such individual. Her name is Keisha T. Prosser, and she calls herself: The Mobile Cooking Teacher.

Keisha T. ProsserAn Interview With Keisha

Splendid Recipes: Hey Keisha, how are you today?

Keisha: Doing just fine. Thanks for asking.

Splendid Recipes: Ready to answer some questions?

Keisha: Sure, but not to personal.

Splendid Recipes: No, nothing personal. Okay Keisha tell us, where are you from?

Keisha: I am a native of Philadelphia (USA).

Splendid Recipes: How long have you been working in the food industry?

Keisha: I have over 20 years’ experience in the food service industry.

Splendid Recipes: Wow, over 20 years. Where have you worked during those 20 years?

Keisha: I worked at Whole Foods Market, School Distract of Philadelphia, and as a Private Chef.

Splendid Recipes: What did those jobs teach you then, which have helped you now in the food service industry?

Keisha - The Mobile Cooking Teacher

The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Teaching a hands on healthy cooking class cooking class

Keisha: I learned how to be a better person and cook, and with that I have helped others to become good at healthy cooking. I don’t really look at it like a job, more like making new friendships.

I really enjoy cooking and showing others to prepare and cook different cuisines. Just seeing my client’s faces when they taste the food is priceless.

Splendid Recipes: Where did you learn your cooking skills?

Keisha: I graduated from “The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College” with an Associates of Science in Pastry Arts.

Splendid Recipes: For those of you who may not know where Walnut Hill College is, it’s in Keisha’s home town of Philadelphia.

The college was founded in 1974 and at the time was America’s first private college to offer career training in fine dining and the luxury hospitality industry.

The college offers four majors: Culinary Arts, Restaurant Management, Pastry Arts and Hotel Management. The majors are offered at the Associate and Bachelor’s degree levels.

Splendid Recipes: Keisha tell us what inspired you to want to work in the food industry?

Keisha: What inspired me was a nutritionist who came to our middle school. There was this one particular time, I believe it was March, yes the National Nutrition Month.

She came to our school and talk about the eating healthier and why we should. Though, I will say she brought food that I was not really familiar with.

Splendid Recipes: Oh really, what food was that?

Keisha -The Mobile Cooking Teacher - Talking to school children about homemade sugar cookies and life

Keisha -The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Talking to school children about homemade sugar cookies and life

Keisha: Green tomatoes, I don’t know much than about green tomatoes and personally I didn’t like green tomatoes. The nutritionist always seemed to bring food that to me did not make sense from where I come from.

Splendid Recipes: I guess at the time you might have not realized it, but March is also Dr. Suez Month, and Green Eggs and Ham is a favorite for many children. I guess therefore the green tomatoes and connection to good nutrition.

Keisha: Yes, that would be right.

Splendid Recipes: Tell us Keisha, what are you doing now with what you learned at Walnut College?

Keisha: I enjoy cooking, and I teach, “Healthy Cooking and Food Safety Workshops” at the local library, and Jenkintown Day Care Centers, both in Philadelphia.

Splendid Recipes: Is that all you do?

Keisha:  No, I also do public speaking at the local middle and high schools to teach the kids about the hows and whys of eating healthy.

Splendid Recipes: What is your hopes and desires when you are either talking about eating healthier, teaching others cooking skills and using that to preparing good nutritious meals?

Keisha: Since I have gone into food service, I always make sure that when I am teaching cooking skills, I do it in a way that people can understand, so they can prepare food in their own kitchens that is nutritious. I show them how to cook to benefit their health.

Splendid Recipes: Would it be fair to say Keisha, you have put cooking and nutrition into one package that will benefit your clients health?

 Keisha: Yes, that is right. My hope is that with the knowledge the individuals and families get from my workshops, will continue on to their own kitchen. Cooking and preparing food for themselves in a healthier way.

Splendid Recipes: Tell us Keisha what else you would like to share with us?

Keisha: I would like to share the importance of cooking together as a family.

Splendid Recipes: Great, we look forward to that Keisha. Thanks for your time.

Keisha: You’re welcome.

Please return for another interview with Keisha on cooking together as a family, March. 17,2016.

 Follow Keisha “The Mobile Cooking Teacher” on any one of the following social networks:
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How to Cook with Cantaloupe

How to cook with Cantaloupe

June. 22, 2014 till present July. 1, 2014,  here at Splendid Recipes and More we have posted about everyone’s favorite summer time melons, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew (link here if you missed the articles).

Mark a vendor at our local Farmer’s Market gave us a lot of tips to choose the best melon to enjoy this summer.

We found a few recipes that we thought you would enjoy. The first one is Mark’s idea, which is roasting with cantaloupe. What you may say, roasting a cantaloupe? Yes and here is what Mark had to say.

“Cantaloupe, Mark says, probably isn’t a fruit you think of cooking with. Aside from having it in a fruit salad, the idea of cooking with it just doesn’t seem like it would work, and especially given its water content.” Mark goes on to say, “You really can cook cantaloupe and make some amazing dishes with them.”

So I asked Mark, “What cooking idea or technic you have in mind?”

He said, “Roasting cantaloupe is a wonderful way to cook with it. As a matter of fact, roasted cantaloupe takes on a whole new taste. So if generally speaking you don’t like cantaloupe, then try it roasted , you will be pleasantly surprised.”

Roasted cantaloupe can be a great topping for your breakfast cereal in the morning, or maybe on your ice cream for dessert.  Or mix it with some Greek yogurt.

Here’s the recipe…

Roasted Cantaloupe

roasted cantaloupe

Roasted Cantaloupe
Image credit: http://www.vegwithanedge.com

If you’re looking for the how to, it’s really quite simple.

First, slice the cantaloupe in half, and scoop or cut out the fruit.

Preheat you oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the seeds. Then cut the cantaloupe into chunks.

Place into a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey and a splash of vanilla for a slightly different taste.

Place coated melon onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cantaloupe begins to caramelize. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Mix the cantaloupe up in a large mixing bowl with some favorite summer berries, like raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. Mix in a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar infused with raspberry or pomegranate. Spoon mixed fruit into the two shelled halves of the cantaloupe. See finished product by viewing the header picture of this article. Serve and enjoy.

Grilled Cardamom Cantaloupe with Swiss Cheese Crumbles

Grilled Cardamom Cantaloupe with Swiss Cheese Crumbles
Image credit: http://www.misskitchenwitch.com

You can also grill cantaloupe, and Mark says, “Cantaloupe actually grills very nicely.”

Slice your cantaloupe and put a little brown sugar on top. Then pop it on the heated grill for a few minutes on each side just to get some nice grill marks on it. Serve it with your favorite ice cream.

You can also leave cantaloupe the way it is and pair it with some other great foods to help you find a way to enjoy cantaloupe that much more.

 

Finally, a sweet and salty appetizer, why not try this Melon and Prosciutto combination.

Melon and Prosciutto

1 large cantaloupe

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon Balls

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon Balls
Image credit: http://www.bellalimento.com

3 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto or fully cooked ham

Cut cantaloupe in half and remove seeds. Using a melon baller, scoop out pulp or cut pulp into bite-size cubes.

Cut prosciutto or ham into 1-inch wide strips. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each melon ball. Fasten prosciutto with a toothpick.

If you’re going to have cantaloupe and cook with it, just get creative. It’s a sweet fruit, so experiment with your palate and see what you can create. Make a salsa or a cantaloupe puree, or just add it to the side of a tasty shrimp and basil Aioli. Just have fun with it and enjoy cooking with cantaloupe.

What are your favorite cantaloupe recipes?

 

What Others are saying About Summer Melons:

Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon

Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon

Honeydew is another summer favorite fruit. If you missed the prior articles about the watermelon and cantaloupe you can read about them here: Articles on Melons.

It’s so disappointing when you get a melon that just doesn’t taste good. It may not be sweet enough or not ripe enough. It just makes the whole melon eating experience a let-down. That’s why we’re going to ask Mark a vendor at our local Farmer’s Market to show us how to pick out just the right honeydew melon so you can get the most flavorful, enjoyable melon possible.

Squeeze the ends of the honeydew melon. You want them to have a little bit of a give to it, as that means it’s ripe.

Look at the color of the outside of the honeydew melon, the more yellow it is, the better. Look for a golden hue to it.

The skin will have almost a sticky texture when it’s at its ripest.

Brown spots on the rind of a honeydew melon are kind of like brown spots on a banana. That’s where the fruit is the sweetest. So don’t shy away from a few brown spots.

Pay attention to the shape of your honeydew melon. You want it to be spherical in shape for the tastiest melon.

Weight matters, too. Because melons consist of mostly water, you want one that is heavier than it appears. This will be the juiciest melon.

Use all of your senses when checking your honeydew melon. Give it a smell. If it has a nice, pleasant aroma, then it’s going to taste good too.

Mark grabbed a honeydew melon up to his ear and started shaking it side to side. He said, “If you can hear the seeds rolling around in there, then it’s ripe.” I tried it, but couldn’t hear the seeds. He said that one takes practice.

Tapping on the melon with your knuckle and hearing a hollow sound, means the melon is ripe.

I asked Mark about honeydews that are orange inside?

orange flesh honeydew

An organic orange flesh honeydew…Picture credit: http://www.burpee.com

Mark said, “If you find honeydew with orange-flesh, that’s okay. This is a new kind of honeydew which is easier to tell if it’s ripe, the more orange it is, the better. However, be warned – it might not have as sweet of a taste as your typical honeydew melon.”

Make also said that if f a honeydew melon is picked too soon, that is, before it turns yellow, it will never ripen. He also said it’s best to avoid buying melons past August, because you probably aren’t going to get a very tasty melon unless you live in California where they are grown.

Mark pointed out that the most important thing when choosing just the right honeydew melon is to pay attention to the color of the rind. A honeydew melon starts out green. If it remains green or even has a greenish hue to it, then it’s not at all ready yet. Watch out for green spots too. This means it’s not ripe yet either. And it’s not going to get that way with time like bananas will. Honeydews don’t keep ripening after their picked.

Honeydew melon is really a melon you have to buy to eat right away. It doesn’t get better if you buy it early and let it sit in the sun. You also want to store it at room temperature.  However, after it has been cut into you will need to store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. This will help keep it fresh for up to two weeks.

Now go out and pick your perfect honeydew melon and then enjoy all of its sweet, watery goodness. You’ll never pick a disappointing melon again, thanks to the tips Mark shared with us on how to choose the best honeydew melon.

 

Header image credit: Epicurus

 

What Others are saying about Honeydew:

Interesting Facts about Watermelons

Interesting Facts about Watermelons

The past week we have been considering this summers fruits, how to enjoy them, and how to pick a ripe one for eating. If you missed those articles here is each one you can link too:  Ten Ways to Beat the Heat with Summer Melons , How to Choose a ripe Cantaloupe , and How to choose and Store Watermelon.

Our last article was about choosing a ripe watermelon and how to store it properly. What do you know about the watermelon, other than it is good eating and makes a great summertime treat?  Read on for some interesting watermelon facts that may surprise you.

* Watermelon contains a lot of health benefits. It’s good for the heart and it is even believed to help prevent many well-known cancers.

* Some consider it to be a vegetable and not a fruit. While its sweet taste makes most say fruit, it is actually grown like a vegetable and harvested as such as well. It comes from a plant similar to what a pumpkin and other gourds come from. When the rind is used for pickling purposes or stir fried or stewed, it is being used like a vegetable. However, most commonly it is known as a fruit. The same is true of a tomato, seen as a vegetable, but is actually a fruit.

* Every part of the watermelon can be eaten.

* Watermelon is believed to come from Africa and was first cultivated as early as 2000 B.C. It is believed that it was used to refresh travelers as they traveled through Africa, and was also used as canteens. It came to the United States with African slaves, and the term watermelon appeared first in the English dictionary in 1615.

First seedless watermelon produced in 1939

First seedless watermelon variety grown in 1939

* The first seedless watermelon was introduced in 1939, by treating with acid on the blooming flowers before they were pollinated.

* It is said that, by weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States.

Japans cube watermelon

Square or cubed Watermelons Grown in Japan

* There are more than 1200 different varieties of watermelon. They even come in different shapes – including square melons grown in Japan (view latest news of Japans cubed-watermelon here…).

* If you have sun, bees, and water, you can grow watermelon. You will also need a lot of room. Watermelon is best planted in rows 8-12 feet apart. It takes about 3 months for a watermelon to be ready to harvest.

* Watermelons must be harvested by hand and not by machine because they are very fragile.

* August 3 is considered national watermelon day. So remember to eat plenty of watermelon on this day!

* Watermelon contains more than 90% water.

* The world’s heaviest watermelon was grown in Arkadelphia, Arkansas by Lloyd Bright. It weighed 268.8 pounds (121.93 kg).

* American comedian Gallagher became famous for smashing watermelon on stage with his Sledge-O-Matic. It was wildly popular prop comedy, especially in the 1980’s.

* Mark Twain once described watermelon like this: “It is the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented.”

Everything you could possibly ever have wanted to know about watermelons. Where it came from, to how it is grown, its health benefits, and even how well liked it is by famous people. Do you have any facts you would like to share with us? Just leave it in the comments below, thanks.

Return again for information on Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon.

 

What Others are Saying About Watermelon:

How to Choose and Store Watermelon

How to Choose and Store Watermelon
With the onset of summer we start to think about summer fruits, like watermelon. This is always a favorite treat in the summer because of how refreshing and light it is. But, nothing is worse though than biting into a watermelon that has gone bad or just wasn’t ripe enough to begin with. So you want to make sure you choose the right watermelon from the get go, and then also make sure you store it correctly(check out our article on How to Chose a Ripe Cantaloupe).

Here are some tips from Mark a vender at our local Farmers Market to make sure you get the most out of your watermelon this summer.

Choosing the Right Watermelon

Mark says, “You need to decide if you want a seeded watermelon or a seedless watermelon. There’s no difference in appearance between the two watermelons. The only difference is convenience, though I personally feel the seedless watermelon has a sweeter taste than the seeded melon.”

Mark showed us the easiest method for picking out the perfect watermelon is to give it a little tap on the side. If it sounds solid it’s not ripe, or if it sounds thick it isn’t quite ripe chosing a ripe watermeloneither. But if it sounds hollow then it’s ripe and just right.

After tapping on the melon and hearing that hollow sound don’t pick up that melon just yet, Mark says take notice of the melons appearance. A bright, green-colored skin that’s free of cuts and is firm and symmetrical is what you want to look for. You don’t want one that is narrow on one end or misshapen, because this means it grew in bits and spurts. It should also feel heavier than it looks. Since watermelon is 90% water (which is what makes it so refreshing), you want plenty of water in your watermelon. More water means it’s nice and ripe, giving it a much sweeter taste.

Now that you have picked the perfect watermelon for your summer event, you want to make sure you store it correctly so it lasts longer.

How to Store Watermelon

Mark advises storing your watermelon is in a dark, cool place, like a basement if you have one. But if not, then the next best place is in the refrigerator. This keeps the melon from rotting. Not only does it keep it fresh, but the coolness will also make it a much more refreshing summer treat.

Once you have cut into your watermelon, you want to make sure you tightly wrap the opened end with plastic wrap to store in the refrigerator. If it’s cubed or balled, just place it in a tightly sealed glass or ceramic container. If you sliced it, just place some plastic wrap over the exposed edge. This way it won’t attract the other flavors and scents from the refrigerator and change its taste.

Mark says your melon should last about a week in the refrigerator.

There you have it – the facts on how to choose and store a watermelon this summer. Look for our next article on – Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon -.

 

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