Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Watermelon Sorbet

This weekend we (well, me really dragging Mark along) decided to check out some Oklahoma culture. I heard about this local (not exactly local, seeing as it took almost 2 hours through lots of farmland to get there) festival that's been in Rush Springs, Oklahoma for many, many, many years - the Watermelon Festival. I thought, of course, "This is going to be fun!" I love watermelon and I was sure it would be exciting to see a little more of Oklahoma. I don't think it was the most excitement we've seen in Oklahoma, but I took some photos to share and created a sweet, refreshing watermelon sorbet recipe.


There was a watermelon exhibit full of prize watermelons. The watermelon queen was also on hand just at the entrance to the exhibit. Little girls were rushing to have their picture taken with her (she wore a watermelon-print dress with cowboy boots).
 This is what a prize watermelon looks like... there was a huge line of people just waiting to walk around and look at each watermelon that was part of the exhibit - seriously... Mark and I did not see the attraction so we took a quick look around and continued exploring the festival.

There was a little section of carnival rides - that Tilt-A-Whirl on the left is my favorite. We didn't ride it.

Plenty of shopping opportunity was available at the watermelon festival.... check out these note pads. And eveyone needs a wild west photo in their home - bonus points for John Wayne.
The red solo cup wine glass next to the canning jar wine glass.
Oops... almost didn't see that guy in the full camouflage.

This local home had quilts in their yard for sale  (many of them embraced the watermelon theme)
no explanation necessary for this one

There were three tractors on display. Em 'r some nice lookin tracters.

check out the guy's big bag of pork rinds

The watermelon truly was delicious. And I thought it was really great that the whole community came together to stand around some makeshift wooden bars to eat huge chunks of watermelon on a hot August day.

The made-in-Oklahoma root beer was out of this world.

We stopped at Ruby's Watermelon Stand as we left the little town of Rush Springs. We bought one of these huge watermelons (I think it must have weighed 30 pounds - not joking). That picture on the right is pretty much what the entire drive looked like from Oklahoma City south west to Rush Springs.

Now, what to do with all that watermelon??!!... Make watermelon sorbet. Sooooooo sweet and refreshing. Enjoy it on a hot summer afternoon!
Watermelon Sorbet
4 cups watermelon puree*
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

*Cut watermelon into one-inch cubes, discarding seeds and rind. You'll need about 7 to 8 cups of cubed watermelon to make 4 cups of puree. Place watermelon in blender to puree. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Use the smooth puree for the sorbet.

Create a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved in the water. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Combine the watermelon puree, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir well and chill in the refrigerator.

Pour cold watermelon mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream maker process is completely, you can eat the sorbet right away or transfer to a container, seal, and freeze until read to serve.

If you have kids or just want to add a little fun to the sorbet, top with a few mini-chocolate chips to look like watermelon seeds. Enjoy!

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