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Well the sunsets are earlier and the realization that summer is coming to an end is haunting me.
I like the spring, love the summer, can tolerate the fall and despise the winter. The thought of snow, cold and shoveling is making me sad already.
I don’t go by Labor Day as my guide to the last day of summer. No, I hold on to the bitter end and wait until the first day of Autumn shows up on the calendar.
This year, it’s Saturday, September 22, 2018.
Although, a few weeks ago in the Northeast it was still in the high 80’s and humid and as if someone flipped a switch, it became cool, breezy, raining and 57 degrees with a high of 68 degrees after Labor Day.
I didn’t know what my Goodbye to Summer Tablescape would be and then one day while shopping in Pier 1, the best idea was right in front of me – Watermelons!
Many of you might remember my obsession with the vintage red truck cookie jar at Christmas.
Well, Pier 1 has a vintage red truck cookie jar filled with watermelons and a tray to match. That is all it took to get me started.
Watermelon happens to be my favorite fruit and I constantly buy them all summer long.
(Along with Friendly’s “Wattamelon” ice cream roll).
So, it looks as if Watermelon is now the “2018 Goodbye to Summer” theme.
To prove my love of watermelons, I even have a “watermelon shaped” clutch bag.
So, after seeing the clutch bag, I know what you are thinking and yes, I have watermelon dishes (two different sets actually).
The set I am using today and another set that I use for dessert.
So, let’s get started on a tablescape…
First, the tablecloth. I am going to use burlap for a neutral background.
Solid green napkins to pick up one of the shades of the rind from the dishes.
This time I placed the folded napkin under the salad plate and have just a small portion exposed. I want the focus to be just on the dishes.
The placemats can be nothing else than a woven slice of watermelon.
Couldn’t pass these up.
No charger plates because you wouldn’t see the placemats and they are too cute to hide.
Now the dishes…The dinner and salad plates are exactly the same to this set and there is also a small salad bowl to match.
The dishes are ceramic with a white background with various sizes and shapes of sliced watermelon with shades of green and the deep pink of a ripe watermelon.
Just the color alone is refreshing.
Here is my second set of watermelon dishes that I use just for dessert.
The dessert plates are melamine for outdoor use and the pattern is similar to the other dishes. It has a white background with not only slices of a watermelon but a whole watermelon as well.
The serving bowl and dessert bowls are also ceramic and just too cute.
Even though the bowls and dishes are not part of the same collection, I think they look great together.
Glassware will be clear acrylic tumblers with a design of watermelon slices.
(great find in Homegoods).
Later they will be filled with a watermelon beverage, mini wedges of watermelon and refreshing mint.
Flatware is brown to continue the neutral feeling.
Here it is, my new red vintage truck & watermelon cookie jar. I just love it.
The cookie jar truck has a lid piled high with watermelons.
(I am sorry I didn’t buy this sooner so I could have displayed it in my kitchen the entire summer).
To give the tablescape some height, I am placing the truck on an inverted crate.
The platter is also a red truck with a cargo of watermelons and matches the cookie jar exactly. I will use this platter to serve watermelon slices.
I have a few table accents in mind.
The first one is a coaster that I picked up in a tiny, I guess you could call it a general store (NOT Cracker Barrel) at a road stop on the way upstate to see our son. It is a coaster with a design of a watermelon with a slice cut out and the caption reads “Summertime Favorite”. They only had one, and I bought it anyway because it just struck me.
Since this is all I have and it is small, I will display it on a clear acrylic easel as I would a photo on the table.
My second table accent, (if you haven’t already guessed), is my favorite item for the tablescapes and that would be salt and pepper shakers. They are ceramic slices of watermelon in the true deep tone of real watermelon.
Next table accent, will make you laugh…
A few years back, Kleenex introduced tissue boxes designed like fruits. Of course I bought the watermelon box and I thought I could re-purpose it once the tissues were gone, so I filled the box with artificial greenery and use it as a display next to fruit platters at summer gatherings.
Just like the Ferris Wheel from the “State Fair” post, I love conversation starters.
At the last minute, I decided to put two more table accents on the table…
A real watermelon…
And a vase of sunflowers in a mason jar with rocks.
Sunflowers also scream “Summer” to me and this brings a pop of color to the table.
Now that the table is done…I wanted to make some watermelon “food items” along with slices of fresh watermelon and the first thing that came to my mind were watermelon cupcakes.
(Do you see how my mind goes to dessert first)?
I love these cupcakes because they not only have the layered colors of a watermelon slice with seeds, but the buttercream frosting is watermelon flavored (thank you, Kool-Aid).
They will look so cute on the table.
(Recipe for watermelon cupcakes at the end of the post).
Well, now that I had a watermelon dessert, I might as well make a complete Goodbye to Summer Lunch with some watermelon tucked in here and there and some of my favorite summer foods.
Since I can’t have a watermelon sandwich to start with, here is our menu…
Goodbye to Summer Lunch
Shrimp salad roll – for those of us allergic to lobster.
(recipe at the end of the post)
Homemade potato chips.
(recipe at the end of the post)
Tomato, Watermelon & Feta skewers with mint & lime.
(recipe at the end of the post).
Watermelon cooler made with lemon sorbet.
(recipe at the end of the post).
Fresh watermelon slices.
Watermelon Italian Ice (store bought).
(recipe at the end of the post)
Dessert is Served…
I could go on and make a watermelon cake, watermelon pizza and watermelon sorbet, but I don’t want to get carried away. Maybe next summer.
NOTE: You won’t believe what I came across while looking for the Bellini recipe, a recipe for a “watermelon sandwich”.
See the surprise recipe I found at the end of the post!
Now my Goodbye to Summer lunch is ready.
Bob and I will enjoy this lunch as I count the days until summer once again.
(If anyone is interested, it is 272 days as of September 22, 2018).
to the first day of Summer.
Friday, June 21, 2019.
Thank you for visiting my blog and letting me share my Watermelon Tablescape with all of you.
Here is a little extra helpful hint with your watermelon purchases…
A video on how to tell if the watermelon is ripe...open the link
Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!
I decided to have a Watermelon Bellini after all, to send off Summer in style!
(with and without alcohol)
(recipe at the end of the post).
Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com. and become part of the family!
Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.
Also, continue to send me your comments & emails, I LOVE hearing from you.
Recipe courtesy of Beth @ The First Year – blog
Cupcakes – makes 10-12 cupcakes
- 6 tbsp butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- leaf green food coloring by Wilton (or similar light green food coloring)
- 2 sticks of butter, unsalted at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp of powdered watermelon Kool-Aid mix
- small about of red food coloring, to give the buttercream a pinkish color
- mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place cupcakes liners to muffin pan.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, beat again.
- Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract, mix by hand with spatula.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon.
- Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
- Add in the green food coloring, mix to incorporate.
- Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each 1/2 full.
- Bake at 375º F for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º will keeping the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool before adding the buttercream.
- In a mixing bowl beat the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar, mix by hand with a spatula.
- Add in more powdered sugar as you see fit, up to 2 more cups, mixing first by hand then with an electric mixer.
- Add in the watermelon Kool-Aid powder and a small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color), mixing one last time with an electric mixer.
How to assemble
- Place the buttercream in a large piping bag fit with a 1M Wilton piping tip. Push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting in the center of the cupcake, swirling out, and then swirling back into the center, progressively stacking the frosting as you get to the center.
- Add mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream.
Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime
Recipe courtesy of Sara Foster of Southern Living
Makes about 3 dozen skewers
No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes (about 1/4 of a 3-lb. watermelon)
- 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 36 (3-inch) wooden skewers
Gently toss together tomatoes and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. Thread 1 tomato piece, 1 watermelon cube, and 1 feta cube onto a skewer, and place in a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining skewers. Drizzle with remaining marinade, and serve immediately.
Courtesy of The Blond Cook
- 1-pound medium shrimp in shell
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- Boil 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan and add shrimp. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, or until pink and just cooked (do not overcook).
- Drain shrimp in a colander and rinse with cold water and allow to cool.
- While shrimp are cooling, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill weed and Old Bay Seasoning in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until shrimp are ready to be added.
- Peel and devein shrimp and cut in half (or chop, depending upon preference). Add shrimp, red onions and celery and stir well to coat with mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Homemade Potato Chips
Courtesy of Taste of Home
- 7 unpeeled medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 2 quarts ice water
- 5 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
- Oil for deep-fat frying
- 1. Using a vegetable peeler or metal cheese slicer, cut potatoes into very thin slices. Place in a large bowl; add ice water and salt. Soak for 30 minutes.
- 2. Drain potatoes; place on paper towels and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, celery salt and pepper; set aside.
- 3. In an electric skillet, heat 1-1/2 in. of oil to 375°. Fry potatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
- 4. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with seasoning mixture. Store in an airtight container.
Watermelon and Lemon Sorbet Cooler
Courtesy of Paula Deen Servings: 10
- 1 1/2 lbs (4 cups) seedless watermelon, sliced with rind removed, plus wedges for garnish
- 1 cup lemon sorbet
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- fresh mint, for garnish
In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.
Recipe courtesy of Virginia Willis of Southern Living
- 1 lime
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. coarse sugar
- 3 cups frozen seedless watermelon
- 1 cup sparkling wine, chilled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Additional sparkling wine
- Garnish: watermelon wedges
Cut lime in half. Cut 1 half into wedges, and rub on rims of 8 (6-oz.) cocktail glasses; dip rims in coarse sugar to coat. Process frozen watermelon, 1 cup chilled sparkling wine, sugar, salt, and juice from remaining lime half in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared glasses; top off with additional sparkling wine. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
**NOTE- Any summer melon will work. For a nonalcoholic option, replace the sparkling wine with sparkling white grape juice, sparkling cider, or club soda.
Just had to share this, the surprise recipe I found.
It looks as though I CAN have a Watermelon sandwich.
Open Face Watermelon Sandwiches
recipe courtesy of FreshfromFlorida blog
Yield 4 Servings
- 1/4 medium-sized Florida watermelon, seeds and rind removed
- 1 handful fresh Florida mint leaves, chopped
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 loaf of your favorite crusty bread, sliced thin
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Crumble chilled goat cheese into a small bowl. Lightly mix cheese and chopped mint. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper.
Cut bread into 8 small slices and drizzle with olive oil. Toast bread slices until golden brown and crispy on top. Let bread cool slightly.
Spread cheese mixture on the top of each slice of bread. Cut watermelon slices into fun shapes and layer watermelon on top of cheese. Lightly season the top of the sandwiches with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.