I hate wasting things. So much so that I’m forever trying to find ways to use things – some less successful than others. Case in point: pumpkin seeds. I used to bake pumpkin pies for a living (much more fun than it sounds) and I’d go through kilos of pumpkin each week.I tried to do something with the seeds – after all weren’t pumpkin seeds an edible commodity? One day I was horrified to discover that stashed in the back of the bottom shelf of the fridge, I had amassed kilos of slimy pumpkin seeds. I proceeded to wash them and then was so exhausted after that that I simply gave up and threw them out. Like I said, some instances were more successful than others.
I received an email about these watermelon jellies quite a while ago (apologies to the reader, I can’t find the email ) and I thought that they were adorable. I went to the store to buy some limes and to my horror noticed that they were up to $2.49 per lime. And I’d need a dozen. Suddenly what seemed like a fun project to delight kids took on a greater expense than I thought. So I put it to the back of my mind for when I had an excess of limes.
During this hot, humid Summer, Mr NQN and I have been making plenty of Nigella’s Vietnamese chicken and mint salad which calls for lime juice and we also love squeezing fresh lime juice in icy cold effervescent lemonade and before we knew it we had quite a few lime carcasses. I fished out the pack of strawberry jelly that I had bought so long ago for this and looked for the recipe in my email to no avail. So I winged it with the vague recollection that I had of it and what followed was a touch fiddly but seeing delighted faces on all that tried these was worth it.
I don’t think that this is worth buying limes specifically for but if you happen to need the juice of a dozen or two limes then this is the ideal way to use up the skin if you haven’t done so by grating the zest into a cake or dish. And don’t feel like you need to make 12 limes, I use that number more as the packet of jelly yields so much more than you will use so if you’re feeling dextrous you could always make more.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you diligent about waste or do you sometimes just give up?
Mini Watermelon Jellies
- 12 limes
- 1 packet strawberry jelly crystals
- black sesame seeds to decorate
You will also need some raw rice or sea salt, a pair of scissors and a very sharp knife
1. Cut lime in half and carefully squeeze out the juice being careful not to puncture a hole in the skin. You can freeze the juice for use later in an ice cube tray for teaspoon sized portions of lime juice (I also love the lime juice squeezed into a glass of chillingly cold lemonade). With a pair of scissors cut at the pulp and carefully turn the lime skin inside out and pull away at the remaining meat. This process takes time at first but gets much easier.
2. Make the jelly according to the packet instructions. Place 2 cups of rice or salt salt on a plate with edges and spoon jelly mix into lime halves. Nestle in the rice or salt to keep upright. Place in fridge until firmly set.
3. When completely set, using a sharp knife and a firm action slice each lime half down the centre with the jelly side face up. Don’t see-saw back and forth as that will ruin the jelly. Place some black sesame seeds on top as “watermelon pips”.
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