Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Watermelon Sweets for a Jazz Age Lawn Party Picnic

Sunday I crossed off a MUST activity for my "While I live in NYC List:" the Jazz Age Lawn Party. I've wanted to attend this event since I first moved here 4 years ago, so my expectations were very high going into it and I'm pleased to say they were met 100%.

Meg, Leslie and I were transported into another time thanks to the Governors Island's sun-dappled peaceful atmosphere, enthralling period costumes, the enchanting music of Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society and Michael Cumella, phonograph DJ and the dancing. It was the best $7 I've spent in a long time and Meg and I already hope to go back in August in costume. Leslie's the only one who managed to dress in keeping with the theme this time.

In addition to taking everything in, we had a lovely picnic. Leslie brought a great quiche made with tomatoes, squash and basil from her CSA(!) and goat cheese. Meg brought pita chips, a yummy Brooklyn made hummus, prosciutto and melon. I brought the Cupcake Project's watermelon soda and watermelon butter, which I highly recommend making.

The watermelon syrup and butter are incredibly easy to make; you just need 6-8 hours at home to simmer the pureed watermelon over medium-low heat to remove the water and concentrate the its flavor. I used a seedless watermelon that I carried home in my tote bag, which likely weighed between 8-10 pounds, and ended up with a cup of watermelon butter and 2 cups of syrup.

Both items are very sweet, without added sugar!, so a little goes a long way. I diluted one cup of syrup with 2 cups of water (some carbonated) and found the result refreshing, though ice would have helped in the 90+ degree heat. We used the watermelon butter as a spread on pita chips and sprinkled it with goat cheese. The salty chips and cheese contrasted nicely with the sweet. My initial thought was to use the spread on a baguette but as Meg suspected the salt and crunch of the chips made a perfect appetizer.

All Leslie's photos can be seen here. A slideshow of my slots is below.

1 comment:

  1. I must admit, I was skeptical of the watermelon butter at first, but it was amazing!!!