I spent a half hour cutting an entire cantaloupe in rectangular planks. I tried to make each one the exact same size.
Have I officially gone mad? Probably. Was it an enjoyable activity? You bet! Cutting the planks was one thing…but what I did with them next is what’s really exciting! And consider yourself warned: it’s spectacularly nerdy, too!
I’ve been wanting to cut a cantaloupe into planks for weeks now, ever since I went to the wedding of my friends Greg and Ali. (Click here to see a photo of me and my mother at the wedding.) They served cantaloupe (and honeydew) planks, perfectly carved, each on a skewer and with the tiniest sprig of fresh mint. These were passed around by the waitstaff before the ceremony began, and well before the cocktail/hors d’oeuvre hour, so I don’t know what they were, technically speaking. An amuse bouche? A refreshment? I guess all that matters was that they tasted good.
The whole time they were being passed around, all I could think about were two questions:
- How long does this take?
- How much scrap melon is there? After all, this involves turning a round fruit into pieces that all have squared off edges.
The answer to question one, for me, was about a half-hour for one cantaloupe. Granted, it was my first attempt. I bet I’d get faster at it with more practice. I’m sure the caterers were carving up melons like Edward Scissorhands carves an ice sculpture.
I soon learned the answer to question two: a lot! Here’s the scraps from just half the cantaloupe:
So now I had dozens of cantaloupe planks. NOW WHAT?
First, I made a herringbone pattern.
“What beautiful flooring. Is it wood or laminate?”
Then, I wanted to build upwards. I started with a cantaloupe pyramid:
And then tried my hand at some cantaloupe arches.
I guess it kinda looks like an old Roman aquaduct, but I was more inspired by the arches in the theme song of “The Muppet Show.” Oh, and I tried four times to build a third story, but it turns out cantaloupe isn’t the most structurally sound building material.
But the arches did inspire me to create what I think is the pièce de résistance:
I’ve never been to Stonehenge, and don’t know much about it, except that it’s the ruins of some sort of monument or gathering place in England that dates back thousands of years.
My Stonehenge fits on my cutting board, but the real one, in a field in rural England, has a diameter of about 108 feet. I looked up lots of photos of Stonehenge, and my melon representation is just about as accurate as you’re gonna get (using fruit as your medium).
The real Stonehenge is made of rock and even though I’ve never been there in person, I’d bet it doesn’t taste very good at all. That’s where my Stonehenge wins out – cantaloupe is delicious. Healthy, too!
Needless to say, my cantaloupe construction projects ended once I decided that my planks had served their purpose as building materials, and that it was time they fulfilled their destiny as nourishment in my stomach.
Keep it up, David.