The Smiths love watermelon, it’s just in the genes. My husband has told me many stories about his Grand Daddy Smith – involving watermelon, family picnics and beautiful Summer memories. This weekend we had a picnic in his honour and boy did we have a lot of fun!
At the end of July, an invitation arrived in my inbox to participate in the first-ever kid-tastic Watermelon Blogger Challenge by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Watermelon? Challenge? Definitely up our alley. The winning categories are for best original kid-tastic watermelon carving, best re-creation of a of NWPD kid-tastic watermelon carving, or best original kid-tastic watermelon recipe. We decided to create a unique carving and enter it into the best original carving category.
Little A. loves dogs. He woof-woofs at each puppy he passes by on our long walks and loves our family dog, Carley, so so much. It didn’t take much thinking to decide that we would create a dog. To get some visual ideas, I looked through some cartoon pictures and I chose Dug from Up! to be our inspiration. We sure had a blast making our fruit Dug come to life and although he’s not an identical twin, he sure took on Dug’s quirky, fun personatlity!
|Dug illustration via Concept Art World|
MAKING A WATERMELON DOG INVOLVES A FEW THINGS…
- A large watermelon
- Clear counterspace, cutting boards, cookie sheet, carving knife, aprons,wooden skewers, extra fruits and vegetables, a bandana.
- We used: 1 zucchini, 1 garlic scape, 2 concord grapes, 2 green apples.
How to put your fruit Dog together:
- Cut a large watermelon in half and set one half aside.
- Slice both of your apples in half. Place all four pieces face down on a cookie sheet.
- Poke wooden skewers in each piece of apple on a slight angle.
- Place halved watermelon on top of apple pieces, pressing the skewers into the sides of the watermelon.
- Using the remaining half watermelon; cut in half once again.
- Use one of these quarters to create the head. Remove most of pink watermelon flesh (set aside to eat or put in smoothie) and round out the face, keeping the corner pieces to use for eyes.
- Using three wooden skewers, secure the head to the body, preferrably with two at the top, side by side (allow the skewers to stick out an inch, where the eyes will go) and one at the bottom (where the mouth will cover).
- Attach bandana around the ‘neck’ area.
- Using remaining quarter watermelon; cut in half once again.
- Slice a piece off one of the halves and set aside (you will use this small piece to make dog bone).
- Remove some of the watermelon flesh from the mouth pieces.
- Using four wooden skewers, two for the top and two for the bottom, secure the mouth to the head by piercing though the quartered pieces first and pressing into the head.
- Use the leftover pieces from the head (where you rounded the corners) to create the eyes.
- Carve rounds, half ovals or triangles.
- Attach to the head by pressing them on to the inch of skewer that is sticking out.
- Add 2 concord grapes or blueberries as the eyeballs.
- Cut a zucchini into four quarters, you will only be using two quarters.
- Remove most of the flesh from inside the zucchini, leaving the outer skins.
- Secure to the head with two skewers on either side.
- Using a garlic scape, attach to the backside of watermelon body, securing with a wooden skewer.
- Using a leftover piece of watermelon, remove flesh (save for eating!).
- Carve out a bone shape and place it in fruit Dog’s mouth.
Notes: Just remember to have fun, be creative and think outside the watermelon!:)
I think our pictures speak for themselves – we had a great time carving our watermelon, eating our picnic by the water and enjoying the last glorious days of Summer. If you are up to the challenge, pick up a watermelon and go crazy! You can find a ton of carving ideas on watermelon.org and I’m sure the kiddos will have plenty of ideas of their own too.
p.s I’d love to hear what you think of our Fruit Dog! (we’ll find out if we won after Sept. 10th!)