Summertime Recipe by Renee Ann Miller

One of my favorite summertime recipes is making a fruit salad in a watermelon basket. I shared this recipe in one of my newsletters last year, and it was a big hit with my subscribers. It’s a cool dessert to serve on a hot day and depending on the size of the watermelon you buy, it can feed a nice size crowd. And the best part—it’s not that difficult to prepare, but it makes a nice showing.

When shopping for a watermelon look for one that has one side that’s a bit flat, so it won’t roll and will be steady when set down. Next, you’ll want to figure out where you need to cut it to make the basket shape. In the second picture, you can see I’ve scored the skin of the melon to help guide me. I usually cut it outside on the table on my deck with newspaper underneath it, since it can get messy.

After cutting it, take a melon baller and scoop out the watermelon. Use a big bowl to put the fruit in. When all the fruit is out, I usually take a few minutes to cut out little upside-down triangles to make the basket’s edge, but you don’t really need to do that, I just think it looks fancier.

Then add your favorite fruit to the cut watermelon, stir, and put the fruit back into the watermelon basket. Some fruits I like using are blueberries, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, and honey dew, but I suggest adding whatever fruits you like best. The cantaloupe and honeydew are also good fruits to use a melon baller on. Blueberries and grapes are great because you don’t have to cut them up. Just wash and toss in. Set it in the fridge and let it get cold before serving. Don’t use the handle to carry it, lift it from the bottom. And there you have it!

Renee Ann Miller

They are the infamous lords, whose scandalous ways keep tongues wagging. But when darker whispers take hold, a spirited writer’s encounter with a dangerously desirable nobleman may uncover the whole story. . .

For James Trent, Lord Huntington, there’s no escaping the question that labeled him The Murdering Marquess: was his wife’s death a tragic accident or a cold-blooded crime? He’s avoided London’s gossipmongers since that terrible night, as guardian to his younger siblings on his Essex estate. But trouble finds him when a veiled temptress with secrets of her own falls—quite literally—into his arms.

Caroline Lawrence doesn’t need a man to rescue her—the aspiring journalist anonymously advocates for women’s rights in a radical London newspaper column. But when a suffragist’s soapbox speech turns to pandemonium, Caroline is knocked on the head and reawakens in Trent Hall—with the notorious lord of the manor irresistibly close. If there is any truth to his tarnished past, she should denounce him with her powerful pen. Yet love has a way of revealing a man’s true character . . .