A poolside BBQ and swim party is something my friends and I love to plan all year round. Usually we just throw burgers and sausages on the grill then lay out the condiments and whatever sides we decide to make that day. Sometimes there's a casserole of some sort or a pasta dish. Drinks are always aplenty. The beers are chilling in the ice box and a pitcher of iced tea and various soft drinks are also available. The music and laughter are flowing freely and we just eat and hang around and have a great, great time.
These parties become more frequent as soon as summer comes around. And there's no denying that summer has arrived in the Philippine islands! I'm already tempted to turn on the a/c at night, but I'm holding off for as long as I can still manage to sleep well without it. It becomes almost unbearable to stay most days during the months of March to May yet we force ourselves to leave our air-conditioned cocoons and surge bravely into the sticky humidity to fire up that grill and flip those burgers while beads of sweat form a river down our spines.
And we did just that two Sundays ago. Anticipating a hot day, I had first thought of making some fruit shakes with all the fruit I had at home. At the last minute though, I decided on making this watermelon granita for a change. I found a simple recipe online and the result was exactly how I hoped it would be: light, absolutely refreshing, cooling and so so good.
Alas, it didn't make it to the party. Thinking I could make it in the morning for a 3 pm party was a mistake. I should have started it the night before. I did not take into consideration the fact that I do not live alone and hence I am not the only one that opens and closes the freezer door. By the time I had to leave, it was still this tray of half-frozen slush. Thankfully, I also had some pineapples for the grill so I didn't arrive empty-handed. Because the party had lasted well into midnight, we cranked out the blender and made sangria slushies instead.
When I checked my icebox that night, the granita was good and ready. So for days after, I enjoyed a glass of watermelon granita in the warm evenings while I daydreamed of palm trees and and blue-green waters.
Watermelon GranitaHave a great summer everyone! (or Spring or Fall, use whichever is applicable to you) :)
recipe & instructions from foodnetwork.com
1/2 seedless watermelon
1/2 cup white sugar
juice of 1 lemon
Cut up watermelon flesh into chunks and then puree in a blender. If your watermelon isn't seedless, make sure to remove the seeds first before putting in the blender or you'll get mashed up seeds which may taste bitter.
Combine the watermelon juice with the sugar and lemon and mix well. Pour it all into a shallow wide pan and freeze for 1 hour. When the mixture is frozen, remove from the freezer and rake with a fork all the way through. Return to the freezer for another hour and then rake again. Return to the freezer for one more hour. Rake again with fork then serve. Add a sprig of mint to up the coolness factor!