Support Staff Lunch
Each year at our school, the support staff makes a lunch for the teachers during one of our Parent-Teacher-Interview nights, and then the teachers reciprocate in kind in the spring. I was approached by our VP, Jody, asking if I would make a watermelon creation for the event. Off I went to Pinterest and the National Watermelon Promotion Board for a recheck of ideas, having discovered the watermelon shark from last year on those sites. I needed something connected to our picnic theme and also wanted something feminine as all of the support staff are ladies.
The fruit art I selected was this lovely teapot.
Prior to the picnic, I figured I should do a trial run. Coincidentally, our church was hosting the service the next Sunday so if it turned out, I vowed to share Version 1 with the congregation. I really liked the look of the watermelon balls and blueberries so decided to fill it with the same fruit in the photo, too.
I found a photo and instructions online that showed how to cut and assemble the teapot. Fortunately, lately in Bonnyville at the store I shop at most, all the watermelons sold are pretty round. I picked through the big cardboard bin quite thoroughly, checking them out for even stripes, smooth skin, heaviness-per-size (indicating a nice juicy one, I've read) and the least brown creases, nearly falling in once in my enthusiastic search to find a perfect melon!
The first one turned out okay; the steps listing where and how far to cut weren't perfect so it turned out a big wonky. Cutting 4" down the watermelon versus cutting 4" from the stem (or belly button, as I think of it) are two different things. Grrr...
Oh well - this was TP #1: empty at home, then fruity-filled at church:
Slice off one end, the center of which will be used in constructing your lid. On TP #2, I used a round cookie cutter with a crinkled edge, thinking that this would add a pretty touch to the knob. (More on the terminology later.) The outer ring will be used as a base to keep your teapot sitting pretty and sturdily.
Back to the main part of the watermelon. This was/is the trickiest part, for me, at least: knowing where to make the cut so the teapot's belly is tall enough but also creating a good-sized lid. The original site said 4" but I'd say eyeball about halfway up from the base and cut there. You can always pare down the teapot part but the lid can't be put back together again. This is not Humpty Dumpty! A slice must then be cut from the lid part so you will be able to continue the song with, "Here is my handle, here is my spout!"
Cut a rectangular spot for the teapot lid knob. (I may...or may not...have Googled "anatomy of a teapot" and found a nice little P.W.I.M. picture-style poster of one so I use the right words such as belly, knob vs. handle, etc. ;-) ) It took me a few times to get it the right size, "measuring" it by fitting the knob into the hole, widening the hole so it nestled in fairly securely while showing most of the knob. Next, with the aid of a tomato/strawberry huller, I carved out six little spots for decorative (yet still edible!) mini melon balls or berries. Then I used a toothpick to keep the knob from departing from the teapot lid, snapping off the protruding pick underneath. Lastly, to complete the lid, I scooped tiny watermelon balls and popped them into the awaiting spots.
Using both ends of my Core 'N More, I made nice round melon balls in small and large sizes, a little messy but fairly benign.
Back to more civilized topics...
The next part of the process looks a bit gruesome, so scroll down half of a screen if you are squeamish...
***The proceeding images may be disturbing to some viewers.***
***Viewer discretion is advised.***
These remind me of the Watermelon Shark project from last June - the leavings look like guts and the scraped-out bowl of the pot almost resembles the inside of a mouth less the teeth!
Or perhaps these are akin to oral surgery pictures. Open wide and say, "Ahh!"
Back to more civilized topics...
In the end, it looked quite pretty. I didn't have enough fruit to fill the teapot to the top so I inverted a small bowl inside the belly. Thinking on it now, I guess it was kind of a push-up bra for fruit salad. Shhh...don't tell the secret...
Miss Teapot was born.
Then, I thought I'd take a photo of it in a way where you could see the fruit.
Lo and behold, it looked like Miss Teapot was smiling at me!
So friendly and adorable...
'Twas the sweet SMILE of success!
Thank you for not giving up on the Island. I guarantee that I shall be a loyal blogger through the summer: I have lots of ideas and things going on! Next Tuesday, I will be offering my baking at the Farmers' Market at the Fish & Game Building in Bonnyville, having been encouraged by Rosemary and Sharon. I plan to have lots of chocolate, one to two treats which will appeal to the kiddies, and a gluten-free offering as well.
Happy Summer to all and to all a good bite!