The shimmering air carried the sweltering heat right into my very core. With no air conditioning inside, we took to the porches with our ice waters and sweet teas. I sat, legs dangling over the edge, watching the condensation drip off my drinking jar and onto my knobby knees, leaving behind trails of clean skin as it rolled down my dusty shins. The corner of my eye caught movement coming from around the garage. There was Papaw, with a cantaloupe half in one hand, and salt shaker and spoon in the other. Never in my eleven years had I seen such a thing. Salt on melon? What craziness! “The salt brings out the taste!” he bellowed, in his booming Southern drawl. I remained dubious as he fixed himself next to me and dove in to his summertime treat.
I considered him from my perch, this bear of a man, palming the cantaloupe easily in his huge calloused workman’s hand. Sprinkle, sprinkle, scoop, eat, ponder. Sprinkle, sprinkle, scoop, eat, ponder. Somewhat of a mystery to me, most of our interactions involved him coming in the house and asking whichever one of my siblings or I who was in his big leather recliner to let him have it. But there were these rare moments of being: just sitting there, existing together. Experiencing life at a converged moment, and everything became clear in its simplicity: Life, Love, Joy.
This recipe makes 4—5 big scoops.
325g cubed cantaloupe, frozen (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons runny honey
4—6 tablespoons water
flaked sea salt
Peel, cube, and freeze cantaloupe ahead of time.
Using blender, combine melon, honey, and 4 tablespoons water. Blend, adding additional water as needed for desired consistency. Serve immediately, sprinkling with salt.