when i was 3 years old and my mom served cut-up deseeded watermelon lightly salted to perfection, i fell in love.
therein started not only my watermelon with salt obsession, but the intrigue with sweet and salty as a major source of culinary pleasure.
i remember the fall before my 5th birthday, we took a family trip to rosarita beach in mexico. we had rented a trailor of some sort. (geeze, that sounds really glamorous…)
one morning mom buys this ginormous watermelon and sets it outside on our red wooden picknick table on our patio. later that afternoon, me, myself and i make the big decision to carry the watermelon to the kitchen to cut it up. i drag it, inching it to the edge of the bench, scoop my arms around it length wise like it’s a baby, up close to my chest, and then i begin waddling towards the door to the kitchen. after only 7 steps, my huge and heavy newborn that i had been guarding and coveting, slips through my arms, a falls splat onto the ground.
scared, crying, ashamed. “mommy!”, i howl as tears run down my sea-salted sun-drenched face.
my melon was cracked. and i was confused, how could i fix it. that’s when mom stepped in, picking up the pieces, taking it into the kitchen and cutting it up into her de-seeded bite-size pieces.
when she comes out, she’s carrying a bowl full of the heart pieces. she takes me by the hand, and leads me to the picnic table and sitting me down, she kisses me and then hands me the bowl, a fork and a shaker of salt. “it’s ok, dolly.”