Good Things to do with Watermelon (and Oysters)

My love of oysters has been well documented (the oyster shucker at the Shrimp Basket starts to whimper when he sees me walk through the front door).
Here's a little different preparation for them using some simple, classic southern ingredients.

Oysters on the Half Shell with Watermelon Granita

active time: 20 minutes
total time: 3 hours 20 minutes
makes: 1 dozen 

Mixed with lemon juice and pepper, the frozen watermelon puree is a delicious riff on a classic mignonette.

8   ounces watermelon (about 1/2 small) cut off the rind and into cubes
3   tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
     course salt and freshly ground pepper
12 fresh oysters
     crushed ice to serve on 
     thin strips of lemon zest for garnish

1. Puree watermelon in a blender until smoth. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a 5 x 9"             non-reactive loaf pan: discard solids. Stir in lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt , and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.   Cover with plastic wrap; freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
2. Scrape granita with a fork until fluffy. Freeze again while shucking the oysters.
3. Shuck oysters and arrange on a bed of crushed ice. Garnish ice with lemon zest. Top each oyster with 1 to 2 teaspoons granita toward the narrow end of the oyster shell. 
4. Serve immediately.

Granita can be made up to 1 week ahead and kept frozen. Rescrape before using.

And something to do with the leftover watermelon.
Haven't tried this yet but it looks delicious and refreshing!

Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Lemongrass

active time: 5 minutes 
total time: 25 minutes
makes: 6 cups

Thanks to watermelons natural sweetness, this drink doesn't call for sugar.

4       pounds watermelon, cut off the rind and into cubes
1       tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemongrass
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
        coarse salt
        ice cubes

1. Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Stir in lemon juice, lemon grass, ginger and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes. 
2. Divide juice among 6 ice-filled glasses. Yum!

(I think you could leave out the lemongrass and it would be just as good)


from Martha Stewart Living July 2011, page 132.


Happy Summer Solstice

Happy summer solstice to all of you pagans and druids out there :) 
For the rest of us it just means a little extra beach time!

Fun Solstice Facts

In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice begins on Jun 21 2011 at 1:16 P.M. EDT
Specifically, the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the moment when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. This is the farthest north the sun ever moves in the sky, which is why the days near the solstice have the most daylight of any days of the year.  

The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction. 
For the June solstice, Christian cultures celebrate the feast of St. John from June 23 to June 24, while Neopagans observe Midsummer or Litha 
Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June.
Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.


Happy Friday and Happy Father's Day


“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, 
the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”  -James Dent

Have a wonderful Father's Day weekend.

photo by Mike Baird via Flickr


Blowing Our Own Horn

It's not very often that we toot our own horn, well alright, we occasionally do, 
well OK, at least once a month,
BUT we had such a nice review added to our on-line guest book that I thought I'd share it with you. 

Kathleen and Jay wrote:

My husband and I are retired, and we spent a month last winter at Good Haven House. It was our first trip there and it was the most relaxing, peaceful and comfortable vacation that we have ever had. The view of Perdido Bay over the well grassed lawn is incredible! There is a second floor deck that runs the length of the house and faces the Bay and the dock that stretches out into the Bay. We spent almost every morning having coffee, reading and visiting with one another while sitting on the back deck. This deck is accessible by the sliding doors in both the large master "en suite" bedroom and the den/living room. The kitchen has most any of the utensils, pots and pans, glassware and tableware that one might want to prepare food. 

The first time we went to the Orange Beach Coastal Area, we stayed in a high rise condo. Although it had a nice ocean view balcony, it was often so windy, and, frankly boring, to sit on for any length of time, that we were outside for far less time than we were at Good Haven House.  Also, all the outdoor areas of the high rise complex were all concrete and very little green area in sight. At Good Haven House, the home is surrounded by tall pines and a lot of grassy areas. We have 2 pets, which are allowed for a nominal fee, and it was wonderful to have the large area to walk them, and us, too. Also, the ground floor of the house is a nice screened in area to also sit and visit and grill in. It was also reassuring to have an area like that to leave our dogs in when we went somewhere that they couldn't accompany us to. 

The beds were comfortable, the sheets, pillows and towels were soft and plentiful. In fact,we enjoyed ourselves so much that we have already reserved another month this year. It was kind of funny, that both my husband and I had an understanding as to why it was called "Good Haven House" after only 1 night there. And, as the end of our vacation got closer, we both didn't want to leave because of the peaceful and relaxing time we had there. I would recommend this home to anyone who wants to "get away from it all" 

Thank you, Kathleen and Jay, for the wonderful review. You put into words exactly how we feel about our place and it's nice to know others feel the same way.


Happy Friday

from Country Living June 2011


More of a Good Thing!

June 11 - 25, 2011 now on sale
$1000 per week Saturday through Saturday
(not including $150 cleaning fee, 11 1/2% state tax and $100 pet fee if applicable)

LIKE us on facebook and get an extra $100 per week 
off for the above dates!!

Please call 773 474 2456 or email info@goodhavenhouse.com for more information.



Happy Friday


"At the beach, life is different. 
Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. 
We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun."
- Anonymous


SALE!! June 11-25, 2011 SALE!!

June 11 - 25, 2011 now on sale
$1000 per week Saturday through Saturday
(not including $150 cleaning fee, 11 1/2% state tax and $100 pet fee if applicable)

Please call 773 474 2456 or email info@goodhavenhouse.com for more information.