Sunday, September 4, 2011

Watermelon jello shots

DH told me at the beginning of a week that he wanted to invite friends over for that Friday. There was some discussion about menu, what food was available verses my intentions for it. The conversation drifted towards the watermelon that I had picked up on a whim.

I suggested watermelon jello as a justification for having a mold collection. He suggested feeding a bottle of vodka to the watermelon. The next thing I knew, I was researching how much alcohol a jello shot could hold and possible recipes for alcoholic watermelon jello. I settled on something called "The Greyhound" for our starting point.

DH patiently hollowed out the watermelon through a two-inch hole and made the jello. When he sliced the watermelon open the following night, there was a great comedic splat and me being grateful that I could grab something to use as a punchbowl in about 40 seconds. The end-result was vaguely coagulated, mostly not. Fortunately the evening was saved by some meat, cracker dip, and enough drink that the one guest who could make it was complaining about the mother of all hangovers on the following morning.

Weeks later, I picked up another watermelon. This one was simply cut in half and hollowed with an ice-cream scoop. We solved most of the issues, had one hiccup that resulted in the watermelon shell wilting over a week, but managed to solve the rest of the problem by re-melting the gelatin and correcting it.

Alcoholic Watermelon Jello recommended available ingredients:
One watermelon
About one-dozen packets of Knox gelatin
One bottle of good lime vodka
About one cup of sugar

Sauce pan
Roll of paper towels
Ice cream scoop
Food mill (or juicer, or blender)

The proportions are one envelope of Knox per cup of liquid,
One cup of vodka per 4 cups of watermelon juice, sugar to taste.

First step is to determine which end of the watermelon will produce a better bowl. The key is to halve the watermelon so that the mold-rim is as horizontal as possible.

Once you have halved the watermelon, scoop out the flesh just short of the white. Run the flesh through the food mill, save the juice, discard the hard pulp and seeds. (If blender-juicing, discard the seeds first.) Put the watermelon-shell in a bowl and use paper towels to adjust the level.

Measure how much watermelon juice you have. We got 3-4 cups of juice from half of a watermelon. Following the standard Knox-blox recipe of one envelope per one cup of liquid, and taking into account for how much vodka you are adding, determine how much gelatin you will need.

Dissolve the gelatin in hot water. Add the watermelon juice and warm gently. Add the vodka and taste liquid to determine how much sugar you will need, I recommend adding at least one quarter cup of sugar. Stir to ensure that everything is dissolved and incorporated.

Pour warm mixture into the watermelon bowl and place in refrigerator overnight to set. Any excess mixture goes into a glass to help test the gelling. If properly set, the watermelon-bowl can be sliced for individual servings.

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