I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a decent honeydew in my life. To me, they always taste like cucumbers pretending to be melons. I’m just no good at picking them out, and when I ask the produce guy to pick one out for me, it's barely any better. It’s disappointing because I read food blogs where the writers wax poetic about the nectar-perfect honeydew they just tasted and I want to experience the sweetness of which they speak.
So I tried growing one myself.
It was the last melon plant in the school garden to set fruit, and then it just took forever and ever to grow. It pretty much didn’t change size at all in September despite the heat and my attentive watering. With a hard frost projected last weekend, I finally had to pull the plug on my runty garden-grown honeydew. It didn’t smell even remotely fragrant, but I cut it up anyway. It was very green inside. Too green. I tasted it. Surprisingly, it didn’t taste any worse than supermarket honeydews, but it was clearly underripe. Rather than throw the whole thing in the compost, I tried something. I tossed the green melon cubes with 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon lime zest. Wow, what a difference! The 12YO and I ate the whole melon in less than a minute. OK, the melon was tiny, but still, it was suddenly delicious!
Now I know what to do the next time a melon lets me down, although I’d probably double the syrup for a full-sized honeydew. Who knows, maybe it would work for cucumbers, too!