Every weekend when we drive up to our hideaway in the Hill Country, we stop and buy a watermelon, my very favorite fruit which is actually a berry. Did you know that?

Nothing says summertime like watermelon. When I was very young, my older brother and I would visit our grandparents on hot, summer afternoons. My grandfather would always have a watermelon sitting in the shade of the back porch to stay cool.

In mid-afternoon, halfway between dinner and supper, my grandfather would cut that enormous melon. Back then, watermelons were huge -- none of these small melons you see in supermarkets now. Farmers prided themselves on growing melons that weighed 20+ pounds with prize-winning melons hitting the scale at 40-50 pounds. When we had the afternoon's watermelon treat, the cut wedge was about 18 inches long -- bigger than the child who held it.

Watermelons were cut on the porch so the juice wouldn't make a mess in the kitchen. My grandmother always brought the salt shaker out on the porch. You don't see that any more, but my grandparents' generation liked to sprinkle salt on the cut melon. I guess it brought forth the juice and made the melon taste even sweeter by contrast.

Takeaway Truth

In Pudd'nHead Wilson, Mark Twain wrote this about watermelon: "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."


  1. Hey Joan,

    Your memories triggered mine. I remember my grandmother preferring yellow watermelon over red.

    I still like salt on mine.

    Wish I had a slice right now . . .

  2. Yes, the yellow and orange melons were highly prized because not many farmers grew them.