This is our first time carving a watermelon into a "3D like" shape and we really enjoyed. We are excited to be part of the kid-tastic Watermelon challenge from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
It was fun getting ideas from my children to make a helicopter with a watermelon. We brainstormed different ideas we could try and thought of how to carve it with ease. My children helped to scoop out and my seven year old with lots of supervision :) helped cut rind pieces to put for decor.
This activity is to be done by an adult because of knives and sharp tools.
small pairing knife
towel to catch the juice
1. Draw the design on paper. Then try to break down the steps.
2. Wash the watermelon well and keep the long side of the watermelon horizontally on a cutting board. Cut 1/3rd of the watermelon out, do this slowly so it will be a straight cut; it helps to go around the watermelon by rotating it. (At this point we have the option of scooping out the inside of the 2/3rd piece of the watermelon before carving) Set the 2/3rd or the large part of the watermelon on the board, this will be main part of the helicopter.
3. We will use the 1/3rd piece of the watermelon to cut out the other shapes needed for the helicopter. With a carving knife cut a piece out for the tail of the helicopter. Then we cut out 4 pieces of 3/4" wide and about 3" long rectangle pieces for the rotor.
4. Place a toothpick in the place where the rotor will be going. Carefully make a mark with the tip of the small pairing knife on how you would like to draw the windows and cock pit of the helicopter, we wanted to make it cartoon like.
5. Using the pairing knife slowly and carefully carve out the window shape, go in just enough to see the white part of the watermelon. We placed a small sticker for decoration :)
6. Now insert 3 to 4 toothpicks 1/2 way into the 2/3rd piece of the watermelon where the tail goes. Carefully put 3 to 4 toothpicks on the tail piece of the helicopter that was cut on step 3 and slowly push the pieces together.
Keep the tail close to the bottom part of the watermelon for stability because of the weight. This is important if the watermelon is going to be kept decorated as a table placement.
7. Then for the rotor put a toothpick going 1/2 way on the width side of the 3" rectangle pieces we cut on step 3 and attach two pieces of the rectangle. Do the same for the other two pieces. Place this on the toothpick that was placed on the top of the helicopter (which was done on step 4).
8. For decoration we used small pieces of watermelon rind and brown sugar to represent sand. The watermelon is ready to be presented.
This watermelon didn't go to waste... we made juice, ate some and made a watermelon salad.
For the salad you will need...
about 1 1/2 cups of watermelon cubed
1 tbsp onion chopped finely
1 tbsp of mint chopped finely
1/4 cup cucumber chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper or 1/2 tbsp finely chopped jalapeño *
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 tbsp parmesan (optional) sprinkle before serving
*If you are serving this salad to children, use pepper instead of jalapeño.
Toss everything except for the parmesan together. Just before serving sprinkle parmesan on top.
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