Introduction: Carve a Melon Lotus
I had an extra melon and thought it would make a nice flower. Melon is nice to carve; it slices easily and doesn't turn brown. This would've been easier to do if my sharp paring knife wasn't serrated and hadn't had the tip broken off after being used to pry up something inappropriate for such a thin blade. I don't have the attention span to follow patterns or most directions, so I made this up as I went along.
Fortunately, I finished well before the kids woke up from their naps.
a thin, sharp knife
a large knife to slice the melon in half
a spoon to scoop out the melon seeds
Step 1: Prepare the Melon
Wash and dry your melon. Slice it in half through the middle (not through the stem or blossom end). Scoop out the seeds and any slimy goo.
Using a crayon or some other writing utensil, draw Vs on the melon skin next to the cut edge. I used the stripes on this melon as a guide for the center of the Vs.
Using the thin, sharp knife, trace along the crayon, slicing just through the skin of the melon. Carefully shave off the skin of the melon from inside the V shape, leaving the skin intact below the line.
Step 2: Cut the Outer Petals
Using the thin, sharp blade, draw V shapes with the points at the cut edge, opposite the lower points of the shaved skin, as shown in the first picture of this step. Make these lines at least 1/4 inch deep. Slide the knife behind the newly outlined petals all the way around the melon to remove the little triangles between the petals, as seen in picture 2 and 3. When you're done, the melon half should look like picture 4 in this step.
Angle your knife inward toward the center of the melon and cut a V shaped trough all the way around the cut side of the melon, just inside the outer layer of petals, like in picture 5 of this step. This is to create space between the outer layer of petals and the next layer.
Step 3: Cut the Inner Petals
Cut another V shaped trough around the cut side of the melon to form two separate inner layers (which are still connected to the rest of the melon half at the bottom). These will form the inner two rows of petals.
Cut triangles from the layer next to the outer layer like in pictures 3 and 4 of this step. Now cut triangles from the innermost layer. It should now look like picture 5. Carefully trim any petals that need it and clean up any excess bits of melon with your knife. Be careful not to slice any petals off.
Step 4: Carve the Center
This step is optional; you might want to fill the hollow of the melon with some other fruit, sorbet, or whatever. I opted to cut a chunk from the other half of melon.
I sliced off the skin, then carefully carved a thin slice from around the center of the chunk. This left me with a thin, curved strip that fit around a round center piece of melon. I rounded out the center piece a little more, then cut long, thin rectangles from the strip along one edge (see picture 4 in this step).
I used a spare thin slice of melon to wrap around the center chunk and hold it in place inside the lotus center. I then carefully wrapped the strip with rectangles around the center chunk, placing it with the knife (fingers are too big for this).
Nobody in my family will eat this melon because of some recent Listeria scare, but it was still lots of fun to make. Thanks for reading! Post pictures if you make your own. :)