Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Brunch, Part 2: Drunken Watermelon And Woodstone Oven Eggs

More brunch! An egg casserole with artichoke hearts, potatoes and a slew of other things. And, the Drunken Watermelon will put a smile on your guests’ faces.

Woodstone Oven Eggs

Photo: Adam Schweigert/WFIU

Sprinkle the potatoes, vegetables, and eggs with cheese and bake in the oven until the whites are firm and the yolks are slightly runny.

American Craft Spirits

For a lot of folks, brunch is accompanied by a cocktail like a mimosa or Bloody Mary. There’s a movement taking place across the country that’s making it easier to drink locally, and not just beer. We’re talking spirits.

The microdistilling movement of today is analogous to the microbrewing movement of the 1970’s. Small producers are popping up all over the place, making craft whiskeys, vodkas and gins using local produce and grain.

Matt Colglazier is keeping tabs on what’s going on in the microdistill movement. He’s president of the website American Craft Spirits, on which he interviews these small producers and reviews their products. “They want a story. They want a narrative, and that’s part of what I do. That’s part of why I enjoy it.”

In the five months it’s been online, the site has grown into a go-to for craft distillers and fans of their products. Initially, he had to do all the leg work to get products to sample and review. Now, he gets at least one new bottle sent to him every week, and sometimes the spirits aren’t even finished products yet.

“That’s the cool part to me because there’s no marketing intermediary between what they’re doing and the customer, which is really nice.”

Matt Colglazier and Annie Corrigan

Photo: Sarah Kaiser/WFIU

Matt Colglazier has reviewed craft spirits from all over the world. His Bloomington, Indiana basement has been turned into a cozy cave to enjoy conversation and taste some interesting liquors.

Vodka is an attractive spirit for craft distilleries to make because it doesn’t have to age; it doesn’t have to sit in a barrel for up to three years not making money. So, as soon as it runs off the still, it can be bottled, shipped and sold. He poured us a sample of Vermont Spirits Gold. The sugar source they make the distillate out of is maple syrup, and it is evident in the nose and the taste.

The next spirit he poured was an oat whiskey from High West Distillery in Utah. Surprisingly, it smelled and tasted overwhelmingly like fruit (bananas and pineapples). Who knew that oat could be so complex!

More from Earth Eats: American Craft Spirits Celebrates The Uniqueness Of Place

Watermelon And Fresh Berries In Tequila Lime Syrup

This dish is for folks who like cake decorating, pumpkin carving, ice sculpting and other crafty tricks with food. “Ice carvings and melon carvings make buffets a little more special,” says Chef Daniel Orr. He uses a serrated knife to carve a whale out of an oblong watermelon. He then fills it with fruit (cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries) and drizzles some tequila lime syrup over top. This is an adult treat for your brunch buffet!

To sweeten the syrup, we use agave, which is made from the same plant that tequila is made from. It is sweeter than sugar and since it dissolves quickly, it’s great for cold beverages like iced tea. Agave is also often used as a vegan substitute for honey.

  • cutting a watermelon into the shape of a whale

    Image 1 of 5

    Just like carving pumpkins for Halloween, Daniel Orr suggests sketching the pattern for the whale on the watermelon before carving.

  • Drunken Watermelon

    Image 2 of 5

    Photo: Megan Meyer/WFIU

    Get creative! Carving a watermelon is a surefire way to put a smile on the faces of those coming for brunch.

  • watermelon with fruit

    Image 3 of 5

    The watermelon is being packed with blackberries, strawberries, cantaloupe chunks, blueberries and bits of the watermelon.

  • Drunk Watermelon Gets Drizzled With Tequila Lime Syrup

    Image 4 of 5

    Drizzle the fruit with a syrup of tequila, lime juice, agave syrup and lime zest.

  • Drunken Watermelon with Fruit and Tequila Lime Syrup

    Image 5 of 5

    The Drunken Watermelon can live in the center of your table for folks to pick at throughout the meal or place it on a buffet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tequilla
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Cut melon into the shape of a whale or any other fun animal shape. Good luck!
  2. Fill with fresh fruit.
  3. Drizzle with syrup. Enjoy!

Woodstone Oven Eggs with Local Sausage and Parmesan

Woodstone Oven Eggs with Local Sausage and Parmesan

Photo: Adam Schweigert/WFIU

This delicious baked egg dish can be done in one large baking dish or six individual ones, depending on whether it is a formal or a family affair.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound local Italian-style sausage (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon each: rosemary and thyme, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 can artichoke bottoms, diced
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 4 red skin potatoes, quartered and cooked just tender
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, quartered and cooked just tender
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 12 farm-fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheese of choice, grated (a mixture of Parmesan and Gruyere is nice)

Method:

  1. Brown the sausage. Drain off extra fat. Add the garlic, herbs, and chili flakes. Add the peppers, artichokes and tomato juice and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sausage reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Add potatoes and heat through. Season to taste.
  3. Divide ragout into baking dish(es) in equal amounts. Top with grated cheese and place potatoes cut in half around the edges.
  4. Top with two fresh cracked eggs and finish in oven until egg whites are firm yet the yolks are slightly runny.
  5. Garnish with roughly chopped Italian parsley.

News Stories In The Podcast:

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media