There are two flavors I absolutely loathe: root beer and melons.
Root beer makes me gag. It gives me an instant headache. When we were first dating The Mister watched me nearly convulse over a restaurant mix-up with his root beer and my Diet Coke, an event that triggered his 13 year-old boy gene to fire off like a missile. He made it his mission from that point forward to get me to “accidentally” drink it again. No way, no how. I started sniffing my drinks for poison like a king without his royal tester.
The crazy continues. A year or two ago I drove through McDonald’s and asked for a Diet Coke. As I drove away, I took a drink. Then I slammed on the breaks and almost died. Root beer! I pulled around and waited in the drive through–again–and returned that vile beverage. The girl at the window couldn’t understand the mix up (a likely excuse, I thought) but gave me another Diet Coke. As I drove away, I took a drink. Root beer!! [Looks at sky and shakes fist.] I went back to the end of the line and waited. When I got to the front, they said it was impossible because they didn’t sell root beer. I told them I didn’t care if it was root beer, Mr. Pibb, Dr. Pepper, or Sarsaparilla, I tasted something that made my tongue recoil. As it turned out, in the very early morning they had the Diet Coke and Mr. Pibb lines switched, but since that was so long ago, they couldn’t understand how I could still taste it. Simple. I hate root beer at a molecular level.
Same thing with melons. I just can’t stand them. Cantaloupe? Vulgar. Not even wrapped in prosciutto. Watermelon? Disgusting. It’s like chewing a wet sponge. Honeydew? Honey, don’t. Move along, melon. Your kind is not wanted here.
Until August, when I fell in love with a watermelon salad and the world stopped making sense.
I don’t know where I saw the recipe, maybe Better Homes and Gardens? And it’s not like I haven’t seen it a million times before. It’s a classic summer salad: watermelon, red onion, blue cheese, olive oil, vinegar, pepper, and a touch of fresh mint. But this time I thought it looked…downright palatable. I thought about it for a couple of weeks to see if it was just a passing fancy, and when I caught myself looking longingly at the watermelons, I caved.
Looking longingly at a watermelon! As if it was a Dairy Queen Blizzard (chocolate, with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups)!
The horror. The horror.
I’ve been in love with wet sponges and moldy cheese every since. I leave out the mint and red onion. They take three extra seconds and that’s three extra seconds too many for me. In trying to find the original recipe that flipped my world off its axis, I’ve come across a slew of variations, many of which keep it as simple as the version I now make. I know I’m silly for posting a watermelon recipe at the end of summer when you’re about 11 months from seeing another decent melon, but it’s taken me this long to finally admit that I kind of like watermelon. Kind of. Only in certain applications. That’s as much of a confession you’re going to get from me today.
- 2 cups chopped, seedless watermelon
- 2 teaspoons(s) coconut vinegar (I recently started using this and I love it, but anything light, like champagne vinegar would work well)
- 2 teaspoons(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 ounce(s) Trader Joe’s raw blue cheese, crumbled (that’s just what I use.)
Watermelon and Blue Cheese Salad
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.