Watermelon-Strawberry Punch

Watermelon is good for everyone to eat in the summer. Watermelon-Strawberry Punch is a wonderfully refreshing fruit punch for cooling off on a hot afternoon. Add small amounts of bottled juices, if you like, but there is so much fresh fruit available in the summer it is easy to make delicious fresh fruit drinks. In this recipe the hollowed-out watermelon shell is its own punch bowl, but any large bowl will do. Garnish freely with fresh herbs and flowers, but be sure to use washed flowers or leaves that you know are edible.

Makes about 3 quarts
1 round watermelon, about 12 to is pounds
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1 pint strawberries, washed and drained
2 limes, thinly sliced
Sprigs of fresh mint and lemon balm Blossoms from borage (blue shooting stars), nasturtiums, pineapple sage, sweet violets, rose petals

To prepare the watermelon punch bowl, cut a 1/2-inch slice off the bottom of the watermelon so it will stand upright. Mark the melon about one-third from the top and slice open. This small top piece can be saved for use as a cover. To save the juices, work on a cookie sheet with sides or a large shallow pan. Remove as much melon as you can in large chunks, then scrape the inside clean. Use a melon bailer to make about 2 cups of balls, or cut into bite-size cubes and reserve. Be sure to remove all seeds. Juice the remaining watermelon bv pounding it with a wooden spoon in a deep bowl and then straining through a sieve. You will have about 2 to 21/2 quarts of melon juice.

For the punch, pour the juice into the melon shell or a serving bowl. Mix in some sugar, if needed. Juice the strawberries in a food mill or strainer and stir into the punch bowl. Add a few ice cubes or serve them in a separate bowl. Garnish with melon balls, lime slices, mint leaves, and flowers. Chill before serving.
These appetizers are more like soft little biscuits than crackers. Whether eaten by themselves or with soup, these little Cheese Crackers add a salty taste that is slightly pungent and sweet, which reduces Vata, is neutral for Pitta, and increases Kapha. Children seem to like them.
Serves 6 generously

Watermelon Strawberry Punch

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