Food Tuesday, StoryADay May, Juicy

This post is part of StoryADay May ( #StoryADay #StoryADayMay @storyadaymay #freeshortstory #FoodTuesday #food #recipe


“They won’t eat it anyway,” my husband said. “They never eat anything you take.”

He didn’t mean it as an insult, and I didn’t take it as one. It was something he said before every big family get-together as I searched for and prepared a new-to-me and interesting-to-me dish.

As always, he went on: “They just want the same old things every time. They want Georgia’s old greasy cold taco salad. They want Annabelle’s mushy asparagus that she just opens the can and cuts a hard-boiled egg over; she probably buys the egg already boiled.” (He thought that was a joke, but I knew for a fact that she did buy pre-boiled and pre-shelled eggs by the half-dozen in the dairy aisle.) “They want Jesse’s Ambrosia salad that he doesn’t even bother to take out of the grocery store container.”

“That’s good, though,” I said, and he agreed. The grocery sold really good Ambrosia salad.

“Well, I’m making something different,” I said. “If your brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and cousins and uncles and aunts don’t like it, that just leaves more for us.”

I cut up a watermelon in record time – you watch YouTube, you learn something – and put the cubes into a bowl. I squirted lime juice over it, salted it, peppered it, and dumped a package of Feta cheese crumbles in. I went onto the back porch and picked a few large basil leaves, came back in, rolled them up like a little mouse cigar, and cut them into ribbons.

Chiffonade!” I said, flourishing my knife.


“Rolling herbs up and cutting it into ribbons is called chiffonade,” I said. I wonder if you can chiffonade other stuff? Kale? Spinach? Flank steak?”


Something you have to know about watermelon salad: watermelon, like cucumbers, give off A LOT of water when it’s salted.

Before we left, I drained off a full cup of pink liquid from the salad bowl.

“See,” my husband said, “that’s something they won’t like.”

“Their loss,” I said, drinking half the juice and handing the rest to him to finish off.


He was right, of course. The Cousin Who Eats Everything took a heaping helping of my salad and dumped it in the garbage. Others took a square or two of melon, scraping the feta and basil off it and whispering complaints to each other that it “tasted weird”. Who puts pepper on watermelon?


When we got home, we had almost all of the salad left, the bottom of the bowl swimming in salty, peppery, lime-y, basil-y juice.

For supper, we had watermelon salad, stinky cheese, and crusty bread, with salad juice to drink.

“Did you hear Margolotta is expecting a girl?” I asked him as we tucked in.

Margolotta is his least favorite great-niece, oldest daughter of his least favorite nephew, from what he called “the affected branch of the family.”

“I did,” he said. “She was asking for baby names.”

“Did you offer some?”


“I offered one, too,” I said. “I suggested she name her Gloria, after your mother.”

“Let me guess: she said it was too old-fashioned.”

“Got it in one,” I said. “What was your suggestion?”

“Chiffonade,” he said. “Here’s hoping she takes it.”

We raised our glasses and toasted to the future.

MY PROMPT FOR TODAY: Watermelon salad (yum!)



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Food Tuesday, StoryADay May, Juicy

  1. Teagan Riordain Geneviene

    May 8, 2024 at 6:08pm

    Ha! Nice strategy. Don’t you just hate it when people take a plateful of something like that, and then throw it away? Couldn’t try a spoonful?
    Fiction or real, I’m intrigued by the idea of watermelon salad! Hugs

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 9, 2024 at 10:40am

      I hate it when people do that, too. I used to volunteer at a world cultures even in my little town, and volunteers made food from various countries and the public was invited to “come and taste”. They would pile their plates high, not like the “weird” food, and dump it. GRRRRR!

      The watermelon salad is real, and it’s DELICIOUS! I thought it would be good with mint instead of basil, but I stuck with the version we know we love.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Dan Antion

    May 11, 2024 at 9:09pm

    The story is great, but I think I know those people. The salad sounds very good. I did not know chiffonade was a thing. Sounds like a great name 😏

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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