Just remove the seeds first

Imagine for a moment that it's a hot summer day and that nothing else would make a better lunch than a nice chilled salad. Say, some shredded carrots, strips of crunchy red pepper, whole black olives, and sliced mushrooms, onion, and buttery avocado – all on a bed of crisp lettuce with a ounce or two of cottage cheese and a sprig of parsley. Mmmmm. Oh, and perhaps some luscious watermelon balls. Watermelon? Whoa, you say, watermelon wouldn't go with that; it's a fruit. Not necessarily; not in Oklahoma, anyway. At least not after a bill that passed both houses of the Legislature last week is signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry (D). It seems that Rep. Joe Dorman (D), in whose district a watermelon festival is held each August, has been trying for two years to win recognition for the juicy treat as the official state ... vegetable. Finally, his efforts are about to – you should pardon the expression – come to fruition. And with bipartisan support, too: The sponsor in the Senate was Republican Don Barrington. In fact, Barrington has been the more outspoken of the two in defending the curious measure. His grounds: Watermelons are from the cucumber and gourd families, and both of those are classified as vegetables. Besides, Oklahoma already has an official fruit – the strawberry. Crop sciences Prof. Brian Kahn of Oklahoma State University, who was asked for comment by the Journal-Record newspaper, said he tells students, "Some fruits are also vegetables, although not all vegetables are fruits." Then there was this advice from the state Department of Agriculture: If asked by constituents whether a watermelon is a veggie or a fruit, legislators should answer "yes."

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