On Monday we asked our Facebook friends who was leaving town for the long Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. Of all the folks who responded everyone was staying in town. Reasons varied from gas prices too high to “we live in sunny South Florida, why would I go anywhere else?” Also it sounds as if many folks will be BBQ-ing.


The ultimate toy grill, for sizzlin’ imaginative fun! Our rugged wooden first grill features realistic details, inspiring kids to get grilling. The hood opens and closes just like the real thing, allowing the chef to check and recheck if the food is grilled to perfection. It has two wheels for easy transporting, and features four clicking burner knobs for controlling the “flame.” Adding even more play value, the grill comes with an interchangeable grill top that flips to reveal two burners and a mini grill. A great way to keep kids safely busy while you grill for real!


Have you ever seen a more kid pleasing way of serving watermelon?

Watermelon Hedgehog from the family kitchen

This carving was inspired by watermelon lovers Michelle Langer and Kate Surbey from Georgia. Thanks to watermelon.org for the photo and carving instructions.

Helpful hints . . .
– Drain cut watermelon and other fruit before placing it in the carving.
– When removing excess flesh try to leave it in big pieces – easier for making melon balls or cubes.
– Use a green dry erase marker – wipe off excess marker after making cuts.

Materials needed:
1 medium-large round seedless watermelon
Cutting board
Large kitchen and paring knives
Green dry erase marker
Large bowl and spoon

Wash the watermelon under cool running water and pat dry. Placing the watermelon on its side, cut ¼” off the light yellow ground spot on the bottom so that it sits flat. Be careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind – this would allow liquid to leak from the bottom of the carving. Place the watermelon so that its stem will be the nose.

Find a point at the top of the watermelon about ¼ of the length of the watermelon. Using the dry erase marker, from that point, draw vertical lines half way down both sides of the watermelon. Then, from both points on the sides, draw horizontal lines straight to the back of the watermelon. If you are happy with your proportion, use your knife and cut the lines. Remove this whole portion and place to the side.

Using a large spoon, scoop out the fruit from the removed section and from the base. Chop this fruit into small cubes, drain and set aside.

Use a small paring knife make many small cuts to the edges of the head and body, as shown in the photo. These cuts should be short, small, irregular, angled, curved and almost resemble flames from a fire. Small irregular cuts create the look of the hedgehog’s coarse coat.

Take the removed rind and cut a 1 ¾” strip from the flat end. You now have a slightly rounded strip. Cut a triangle from the center of the strip to make the nose. To attach the nose, place toothpicks just above the stem spot to both side, and slide the base of the nose over the other end of the toothpicks, rind end down. You may need to secure with an additional toothpick. Put one in the tip of the nose and place a blueberry on the end.

Using the rest of the removed rind, cut 4 equal sized rectangles for the feet. Trim the backs of the rectangles thinner than the front, and then make two cuts on the front of each piece to create a point making the shape of a paw. Attach with toothpicks rind end down to the bottom edges of the hedgehog as shown.

To make the ears, draw two curved triangles that come to a point into the edges of the face area where desired. Carefully cut with the paring knife. Using your finger, gently push out the cut shape from the inside until it’s only slightly protruding, being careful not to crack or break the rind.

For the eyes, simply place 2 toothpicks slightly above the nose and put a blueberry on each end.

Finally, replace the hollow space of the hedgehog with the watermelon cubes. Place toothpicks in the cubes at the top to create the hedgehogs’ coat.