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Chocolate Dipped Watermelon, a 43rd Birthday

The Annual Birthday Blog Post Goddess (let's call her Lenora) is circling back once again to these digital coordinates. Birthdays make you ask:  where has the time gone? Nothing answers back more honestly than the dates on blog posts. And suppressing dates is the digital botox poison I choose not to partake of. Post date are like the wicked stepmother's magic mirror in Snow White--totally honest. Cringe. Getting older is the passing of time. But you do get little wisdom shots along the way. This was a good day for these.

43 is going to be my year for "owning it," as opposed to cringing because it isn't enough or feels substandard somehow. It's time to stop pushing what nurtures me off to the back burner. If there are callings this year, they will be answered. Most of all, whether it sucks or whether it's great, I will own it (whatever "it" is) and be proud to take credit.

Let's start with chocolate dipped watermelon, shall we? When the warm chocolate hits the room temperature melon, it balls up. You must melt a enough chocolate to make a pot deep enough to actually be dippable (I didn't). So I used a spatula to give a fast glob-like swipe over the top and then onto a cookie sheet. From there it needs to get it into the fridge ASAP! This dessert was something I wanted to try--more for the art of it rather than the taste. You know, novelty.

Like Numerology For Chocolate
Closet numerologist that I am, this year my age (4+3) adds up to the same as the year itself (2+0+1+4):  7. If you're a fan of the number 7, this year's true 7-7-7 day was July 7th. It was a powerful day for me...something is hanging in the balance. I've spent the past year nurturing it, sweating it and it keeps me up some nights. On July 7th, I got the signal that something was up. I await an outcome. For now, I've crunched the numbers!
I made these out of watermelon. I'm owning up to them in their near Halloween chocolate font. Yes, I am.

By coating my hand-cut watermelon numbers in chocolate, I'd hoped for something a little more like this, or maybe this. But I have to admit I was shocked I didn't find chocolate coated watermelon numbers in my search for creative birthday decor recipes. I had a rare moment of validation from the internet's lack (of results) rather than its abundance! That is a gift in itself.

You know when you have a fantastic idea about ...anything and you Google it only to find millions of results or hundreds of people who've already done it, photographed it or written it? In our modern day, the internet is mostly about taking away your ability to feel like a unique and powerful creative being. Everyone else's unique and powerful creativity as also as easily accessed. But it was only a moment's relief.

Ultimate taste testers that they are, neither the child nor the adult birthday party (yes I had a party tonight) guests took to the chocolate dipped watermelon. Granted, there was a mini cake for the kids from Market Hall and Lois the Pie Queen's Lemon Ice Box pie to be had. The chocolate dipped watermelon was tepidly received. So that explains the search results...

For some, it was too odd a combination of disjunct textures or too weird a sugar combination. My husband said that together the chocolate and the watermelon didn't combine to create something bigger than the sum of their individual parts.
  • If you want to give it a go, the chocolate dipped watermelon recipe is here
As for the friends, I'm thankful they came. We mixed up invitees from all parts of our lives and it was fun to see who connected with whom.

Keep Your Friends Sharp and Your Knives Dull
As I readied dessert, I was reminded about the power of friendships. I am religious about keeping my friends sharp and my knives dull. I am so used to cooking with dull knives that I can't sharpen them- I would have a lot of accidents if I did sharpen. These are important fingers that bring a lot to life!

Here is a great example of sharp friends. A gift from my friend Julia. She says it represents all the candles that would normally be on my cake--in one. It's probably 8" tall. What a little shit starter, no?

Another reality I have to own up to:  I glanced through gifts and found a card addressed to me but also signed from me. How silly, I thought to myself. This person had a momentary lapse of memory writing their card and instead of signing their own name, they signed mine: Rachel. I gotta own this one. I guess it's my age (or maybe too many late nights with Orange is the New Black). The card was to me from my friend Rachel. You see when friends are sharp, they don't hesitate to tell you when you are getting dull. It took 1 second, but my brain found its way back to reality.

About that Trapdoor in the Sun, Immortality
Part of "owning" 2014 and 2015 may well have to do with leaving a mark. We all want to leave this dimension feeling like we've (as Beyonce sings) "did and done." The feeling of having purpose is also, for some of us, knotted up in a sense of immortality and in being true to ourselves and answering our callings. To iterate on the wisdom from the movie Frozen:  yes, you can't hold it back anymore but if you let it all go, you get spread too thin.

On the immortality front, this beautiful song & poem has long been a favorite: Pearl Jam's Immortality.

Here are the lyrics to the song if you prefer to have "quiet time"

Vacate is the word, vengeance has no place so near to her
Cannot find the comfort in this world
Artificial tear, vessel stabbed next up volunteers
Vulnerable, wisdom can't adhere

A truant finds home and a wish to hold on
But there's a trapdoor in the sun, immortality

As privileged as a whore, victims in demand for public show
Swept out through the cracks beneath the door
Holier than thou, how?
Surrendered, executed anyhow
Scrawl dissolved, cigar box on the floor

A truant finds home and a wish to hold on to
But saw the trapdoor in the sun, immortality

I cannot stop the thought of runnin' in the dark
Comin' up a which way sign, all good truants must decide
Oh, stripped and sold, mom, auctioned forearm
And whispers in the sand
Truants move on, cannot stay long
Some die just to live

A toast of homemade birthday sangria to that trapdoor in the sun!

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