The Meaning of Mouth Watering

While I was going through cancer treatment in the summer of 2005, I had a few comfort foods that sustained me. Watermelon was one of these. The chemo often created mouth sores that were not only painful and bothersome, but that made eating some foods very difficult. I can still remember how wonderful a bite of cold, sweet watermelon felt. It not only soothed my mouth, but delighted my weary palate. As a result, I usually had a container of this succulent fruit cubed and sitting in the refrigerator that entire summer.

I’ve had several blessed summers since that time, and unlike some of the foods that nourished me while I was battling breast cancer that later lost their appeal, my love of watermelon has remained. When I discovered a delicious watermelon salad recipe, the time just felt right for me to share it with you. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s healthy – and it just may be a way in which you’ve never tried watermelon before. As long as the melon you select is firm and sweet – you can’t go wrong!

1/2 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 jicama, cut into cubes (you don’t have to add this, but it provides another
source of crunchy satisfaction)
4 cups watermelon in 2-inch chunks

watermelon in a bowl with cheese

photo courtesy of

Crumbled Feta cheese (I do this to taste; too much can be overwhelming, so I just
sprinkle it on, take a taste, and go from there. A couple of ounces will do the trick.)
1/3 cup roughly torn fresh mint leaves (I’ve also had this with basil instead of mint. It provides a more savory flavor. Sometimes I add diced tomato as well – so feel free to experiment!)

Whisk together juices, honey, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the jicama, watermelon and mint and toss to coat. This recipe can serve 4, but that’s only if I let anyone else near it!

Do you have any summer recipes to share? Or foods that helped you through treatment?

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