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Cactus Carving

Cactus Carving

There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Materials

Cactus Carving
Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
Cutting board
Paring knife
Dry erase marker
Kitchen knife
Scoop
Cactus cookie cutter
Small flower cookie cutters
Toothpicks
Fire and Ice Salsa

Fire & Ice Salsa
3 cups seeded and chopped watermelon
1/2 cup green peppers
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon green onions
2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers

Method

  1. Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

    Cactus Carving 2
  2. On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.
  3. Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.
  4. One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.
  5. Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

    Cactus Carving 3
  6. From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

    Cactus Carving 4
  7. Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.
  8. Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.
  9. Fire and Ice Salsa: Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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