Hot summer’s day. Watermelon. Flashback to hot summer afternoons in La Granja, in Argentina, where we’d sit in the shade and wait for my grandmother to slice the gigantic fregetable (it is not clear whether it is a fruit or a vegetable). We would sit around her patio and bite into the sweet crimson flesh. Sometimes she would scoop out the seeds first depending on whether it was possible. We would drip juice everywhere and a bucket or two of water would be thrown afterwards with a few drops of creosote to keep the flies away.

We would have likely have bought on a stall by the side of the road which also sold enormous squashes and gourds, sweetcorn by the sack.
Watermelon is thirst quenching and satisfies that sweet cravings I get in the early afternoon. Its often hard to find good watermelon in England, as it has been probably picked green and unripe and lacks the taste of sunshine but I buy them and leave them for a few days in a warm room.

My grandmother, who grew up in a farm, told us how her family harvested watermelon solely for their own consumption, hundreds of them, engorged by the constant heat and sun-rays of the long summer days. They would only consume the heart, the sweet flesh from the centre, and feed the rest to the chickens.

On Tuesday, we were baling hay at the farm in one of the hottest days we have had in the last few years.  I arrived, with a picnic for lunch of potato and courgette fritatta, tomato and basil salad and boiled globe artichokes from the vegetable patch, ready to help with the tractor driving from field to field collecting the hay bales, I noticed that there was a watermelon in the car. It had been there for a few days, with time to mature, and when we opened it in the afternoon, it was pure colour and joy. I sliced it into a tray and we sat in the garden whilst having the only break of the afternoon. Delicious and sugary. A ruby prize for the day’s hard labour.

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