Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Melon Salad With Ginger Syrup

Today is Australia Day, which almost officially marks the end of the nation's holidays. Like the French, who effectively shut down for August, much of Australia has been on leave for the month between Christmas and Australia Day. Tomorrow, the offices will be full, and some schools will open their doors for the new year, with the rest to follow on Thursday. It feels like the new year starts on January 27th, with a nation turning over new leaves, starting new pages, and so, at least in my mind, now is the time for resolutions.

I love the process of making resolutions and the notion that a new year will bring clean starts and new opportunities, and possibly a shinier, better me. When I was 21 I gave up smoking as a New Year resolution, and stuck to it, so I really value the opportunity that fresh starts offer. The difference now is that I am old enough to know that no good will come from attempting a resolution from January 1, when I still have more than three weeks of holidays, and its favourite sins of sloth and greed, to get through. So from tomorrow, my resolutions for the year ahead include:
- finish the year slimmer and fitter than I started it (a perennial for everyone, isn't it?)
- blog three times a week (maybe a stretch target of four times per week?)
- work on my photography (you must all be glad to hear that)
- start a gratitude journal (more on this later)
- get a full medical check up (in case you're worried, nothing is wrong, I just know that once you are in your 40s you are meant to do these things from time to time)
- throw out less food. I tried to do that this year, but could certainly get a lot better at making use of the leftovers in our fridge.
- cook more vegetarian meals for the family.
- start a herb garden.
- and the big scary one: contemplate the future and what I should be doing in it.
I promise to let you know how I go.....

This week, still being in my slothful holiday mode, I made this cool and refreshing fruit salad. The recipe is one I clipped a long time ago (it is in Vol 1 of my recipe clippings), and I know it came from a Martha Stewart magazine because of the typeface, but unfortunately I did not note the date. I served it for brunch, but it could just as easily be a dessert, or even a lunch, served with some ham. The recipe calls for a canary melon, but they are rarely seen here, so I just skipped that. Martha also suggests tossing through the zest of 2 oranges, but I forgot to do that (I mentioned the sloth already, didn't I?) The end result is light and fresh and tasty, and definitely one of my favourite fruit salads.

Do you have a favourite fruit salad?

Melon With Orange Ginger Syrup

adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, strained (or 1 cup unsweetened orange juice), plus zest of two oranges 1 cup sugar (I reduced this to 3/4 of a cup) 1-2cms fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Cointreau (I only used 1 tbl - depends how much you like Cointreau!)
1 small honeydew melon, cut in half, seeded
1 small canary melon, cut in half, seeded (I couldn't find this so I skipped it)
1 rock melon, cut in half, seeded Mint sprigs, for garnish

Place the orange juice, sugar, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and syrup has thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; strain syrup into a clean bowl; add the Cointreau; stir to combine. Put into the fridge, until syrup is cold. Using different sizes of melon ballers, cut balls from the melons. Place balls in a medium bowl; add the cold syrup, and zest if using. Toss to combine.


Debinhawaii said...

Great goals for the new year. ;-) The salad looks refreshing and good, especially with the ginger in the syrup.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Yum! Happy Australia Day!