My 25-year high school reunion celebration was this past weekend and what a celebration it was! I somehow ended up in the driver’s seat planning the two-night festivities alongside eight wonderful classmates…all of whom I love dearly (six of our crew of nine are pictured below; I am in the yellow plaid shirt).
Many thanks to Facebook, as well as creating our own reunion website, planning this event was much easier than in previous years. We didn’t have to mail invitations, deal with finding where people lived or call any parents to find our fellow classmates. And we didn’t even have to hire a company to plan it for us.
We just had to find appropriate venues, plan the menus, figure out per person pricing, hire a band, do some decorating, create a video with our high school pictures and various other essential party planning aspects. Oh yea, and hope and pray our fellow grads came to celebrate with us!
As you probably can guess, I took the lead in planning the menus for both nights. Using my hospitality and food cost analysis skills, we came up with a menu that was fun, tasty, appropriate food for the season and cost-effective for both us and the attendees.
I realize how hard it is to cook well for more than 10 people. And rarely have I attended an event for 100+ people where the food was fabulous, so I am forgiving. But, I must tell you, I fell in love Saturday night…with the watermelon, feta and mint salad that the chef made at The Dominion Country Club.
It had been at least 8 years since I had this salad and I forgot how unbelievable the combination is. (Even when I sampled the salad at the tasting, it didn’t dazzle me.) But the sweet and juiciness of the watermelon, the salty feta, the fresh mint. It is a perfect summer salad.
Throughout the evening, I had several people tell me, “Everyone is talking about how fabulous the watermelon salad is!” And it was. It was also great seeing old friends and making new ones after so many years.
It was so good–the parties AND the watermelon salad. I wanted to come home and immediately make my own version of this recipe. But, I have been too exhausted to do much of anything other than relax and be grateful it was so successful.
The bad news is that I just can’t party like it’s 1985 anymore!
Here’s a very brief sampling of the fun that was had by some of us on Friday and Saturday nights… I am in the picture below on the right in the silver top.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
I looked at a lot of recipes before deciding I would just make it the way I wanted to eat it. So there's no real "dressing," but know that the juice of the watermelon and the lime makes a wonderful "dressing" as it melds with the feta. You could drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top of the salad if you wanted. So, this is really not a recipe but rather a combination of ingredients, based on your taste.
Please don't get mad at me for not giving specific amounts of ingredients. Just trust me when I say that you'll know what to do based on the amount of watermelon you cut up. If you use a whole watermelon, you'll definitely need the entire 4 oz. of feta cheese, but for just one serving, just a few crumbles of feta will suffice. If you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- watermelon preferably seedless, cut up into 1/2-3/4 inch chunks
- 4 ounces the best feta cheese you can find
- fresh mint chopped
- lime juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cut up the watermelon in bite-size chunks and place it in a big bowl or container that you can store in the refrigerator. Let it sit for a little while so the juices begin to extract from the melon.
You'll need plates for however many people you are serving the salad to as this is best made "al momento" or at the moment you want to eat it. It's really not a salad that I would suggest making a lot of and then eating it for several days. Instead, make it each time you want to eat it.
Place the chunks of watermelon on the plates and then crumble however much or little feta cheese you desire and squeeze lime juice over the salad, add a few grinds of fresh black pepper and sprinkle the mint over the top.