Watermelon Salsa


A long day. Up at 4, out the door by 5am, back home just in time for the 9 o’clock news. But a few new experiences in between:

At around 6:30 am, as I was hurtling down the highway toward Edmonton listening to Panic in Detroit, I saw a moose standing by the edge of the highway; a big guy with a massive felted rack, tapping a hoof onto the pavement like he was testing the water before getting in. I honked. He got spooked and backed off, then ran alongside the traffic for a bit. (How Canadian, eh?)

Later in the morning I was carrying 3 watermelons down Jasper Avenue in Edmonton and my pants fell down. Yes, I was, and they did. (A hidden camera moment if I’ve ever heard of one.) This is the problem with Spanx – their smooth shininess coupled with their ability to smooth out those rolls your pants normally hang on to, just enough for them to work their way down without you feeling them go. You really learn something about yourself and what interesting new muscles you’re capable of pulling when you’re responsible for the safekeeping of multiple melons. I might have been more mortified if I wasn’t so ecstatic that my pants actually fell down. I must be wasting away to nothing, right?

I had lunch (beef short ribs and phyllo-wrapped cheese with saskatoon compote) with someone I had never met, someone also guilty of photographing her food. Then I drove to Legal (pronounce it as if you were French) and met some fantastic people with a brilliant food product that I’ll tell you about tomorrow – tonight I’m just too bagged to even know where to begin.

Dinner was leftovers from this morning’s cooking segments on BT – grapes from the bag, chunks of melon, strawberries and watermelon salsa nestled in the cup holder scooped out with corn chips. Turns out finely chopped watermelon is a great addition to salsa – juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet; a refreshing contrast to the chilies, black beans, corn and spice. I ate in the car, driving in and out of rainstorms from Legal through Edmonton and back to Calgary. My favourite part – besides the fields full of hay bales we always refer to as whole-wheat marshmallows – is the sky.

For those of you who have not experienced an Alberta sky; well. How do I describe it and do it justice? A friend of mine moved here from Halifax to become a doctor, and she said that for 2 whole years she felt like she was being crushed by the sky. It’s just that big. This afternoon it was straight out of the Simpsons opening sequence – on my way home it looked like puddles of blue-gray watercolour paint dabbed with a wadded-up Kleenex. I couldn’t stop looking at it.





Watermelon Salsa

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29 comments on “Watermelon Salsa

  1. foodiesuz
    August 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    It is great fun to meet with strangers in nice Edmonton downtown restaurants. Highly recommended! It was totally unawkward and comfortable because you are so delightful…thanks for the great company…

  2. Allison
    August 13, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I love your comment about the Alberta Sky. I moved from Toronto, and the sky here makes you feel free (even in the middle of a big city). It allows you the space to breathe and to appreciate… well the vastness of everything and the insignificance of who we are in comparison to the whole. Even on a day like today, when the sky looks like a bad, dirty watercolor painting, it really is a amazing. Thanks for reminding me to look at the world around.

  3. Erica B.
    August 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    OMG I was laughing and blushing for you all at the same time! At least you were in spanx and not something more revealing.

    I think watermelon works in salsa the same way corn works in black bean chili (which was on the menu tonight at Chez Bell given the rain….and the need to use up some frozen ground bison before we move).

    Looking forward to the news from Legal 🙂

  4. Carolyn
    August 14, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Great post — thanks for starting my Friday off with a smile! Have a great weekend everyone! First weekend in a while (in my part of Ontario) that it’s wall-to-wall sunshine and hot!

  5. Elaine
    August 14, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Wow, a classic anxiety dream! Well, the watermelons might not be classic per se… I’m terribly impressed by your ability to eat chips and salsa while driving and dodging wildlife. If it was me, there’d be one dead moose and watermelon everywhere.

  6. Sam@BingeNYC
    August 14, 2009 at 5:52 am

    HA – that spanx story just cracked me up. Probably worth it for the salsa! It looks fantastic.

  7. Terri
    August 14, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Pants down, with 3 watermelons in hand? Only you Julie, only you!

  8. pauline
    August 14, 2009 at 6:07 am

    There you go again Julie, brightening my day and making me lol. You were in Legal, that means you went by my town Morinville. You have got me curious about the food product is it to do with peas. I am off to victoria for a week so will have to wait till I get back to catch up. You wont believe this but last night out of no where it felt like I had a needle going through my big toe. Please don’t let this be gout not so bad today I can walk on it. But is this how it starts. sob sob. Have a great weekend.

  9. Jacqueline
    August 14, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I agree with what you said about the sky! I moved here a year ago from Nova Scotia too and that’s how I felt too! I had never seen the sky so big and open back home, it really is quite amazing here.

  10. Kristilyn (Domestic Goddess)
    August 14, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I saw 4 moose on my way to work this morning (I’m just past Edmonton towards Gibbons). There were 3 adults and a baby … I love living in Alberta. And the skies are wonderful, too.

    Sorry to hear about your pants! Hopefully there weren’t too many, if any, people around. 🙂


  11. thepinkpeppercorn
    August 14, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Cool! I love using watermelon in dishes… but no one else ever seems to…I made a soup once (gazpacho really)…and everyone hated it. I loved it! I think you are AWESOME for using watermelon, no one else wants to!!!

  12. JulieVR
    August 14, 2009 at 7:07 am

    exactly! People buy it, but have no idea what to do with it beyond eating it straight up – which gets tiresome after awhile. There are so many things to do with it!

  13. Lori @ RecipeGirl
    August 14, 2009 at 7:20 am

    This sounds quite wonderful… I’ve done a blueberry salsa before, but never a watermelon salsa! A moose?! Great fun to see them, I would imagine- though a bit scary when you’re driving. I loved the description of your sky!

  14. ladyloo
    August 14, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Oh, honey! The pants! Ack!

    The sky is one of the things I miss the most about home. It’s so flat here in the swamp, and there’s so many trees – it’s claustrophobic.

    I’m a big fan of watermelon juice. When I was living in South America we had it often, but I think many people find it a waste of good watermelon here in the north.

  15. marce
    August 14, 2009 at 8:08 am


    Loved the descriptions of the Alberta sky. Poetic and authentic. Made me smile.

  16. Kristen
    August 14, 2009 at 8:13 am

    That is too cool about the moose, and too funny about your pants 😉

  17. Sandy
    August 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Love your description of the sky – wish I could see it but I bet a picture wouldn’t do it justice.

  18. Aimee
    August 14, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I’ll agree, the Alberta sky is something to behold. Apparently so is the site of a woman carrying watermelons and trying to keep her pants up.
    Hilarious, and thanks for sharing, seriously.

    You met Sue! What fun, isn’t she a delight?

  19. Charmian Christie
    August 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Your pants fell down? That’s hilarious. The armful of watermelons is the perfect added touch. If you’re going for funny, watermelon is the produce of choice. Bananas are so 1960.

    Love the recipe. I’ve never had watermelon salsa before and this looks like a perfect summer appetizer.

  20. Dana McCauley
    August 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I totally wish my pants would fall down! I’m bursting out of my fat pants these days – too many yummy things to make with all the seasonal produce.

    I’ve been using watermelon as a savoury item this summer, too. In fact, one reason that there is no risk of my pants falling down is the watermelon and feta salads i’ve been making one after another. You should make one. You need to keep your strength up!


  21. Karine
    August 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Wowow this salsa looks so refreshing! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂

  22. Heather
    August 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I love the Alberta sky! I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Hope you enjoyed your visit to my city – pants incident aside. 😉

  23. Fiona
    August 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    My cousin used to marvel at the big Alberta sky whenever she came over from England. I think it freaked her out a little.

    I can’t believe your pants fell down while you were carrying watermelons. That’s very Lucille Ball! You make some serious sacrifices for the culinary arts, I must say.

  24. Jen C
    August 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Haaaa that totally made me howl! We’ve all had those moments when you are thinking ‘now how am I going to recover from this one gracefully’…. haa.

    Ah the prairie skies – they seem to go on forever and it’s amazing to see people’s reactions and experiences to them. There’s nothing like it!

    Question for you….. and totally off topic too…. I make a Broccoli Lemon Pasta dish and when I make the sauce, the garlic is turning a blue-green color….I’m sure it’s a reaction with the lemon juice, but it’s totally not appetizing – anything you would suggest?

  25. Vicki Archer
    August 15, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Sounds totally delicious…Have a wonderful weekend, xv.

  26. Erin Waite
    August 15, 2009 at 11:47 am

    So glad you got to Legal! Looking forward to your story and will be forever indebted if you mention the innovative Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids that also was smart enough to link up with Legal. . . on the sky description, I’ve always been envious that Montana was smart enough to use “Big Sky Country” as its motto. It’s really what we should be known for rather than (along with?)oil sands.

  27. Katharine
    August 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    BAHAHAHAHA!!! Wish I could’ve been there!! Can’t believe that this hasn’t happened to me yet with all my awesome luck! <3<3

  28. Carol SB
    August 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Classic! And with melons, yet. ‘k, you make my world a little brighter everytime I come to ‘visit’.
    Saskatchewan has the motto, “Land of living skies”… like us in Alberta, they are fortunate enough to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of an endless sky. I was driving with my sister tonight, and told her “Look, someone painted that sky just for you”. High mares tails (‘k, cirrus) like someone lifted wet paint out of the sky with the tip of a brush… ultramarine underpainted with perlyne.

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