Melon, prosciutto and mozzarella sticks make a great, easy summer appetizer combining sweet cantaloupe, salty prosciutto and fresh mozzarella cheese.
There was this waterpark called Action Park in NJ that as a kid, I always wanted to go to. There’d be commercials tempting the heck out of us all summer long with scenes of kids jumping off waterfall cliffs into a huge lagoon pool, crazy tubing slides and all sorts of other fun attractions. It closed when I was 14 (after 6 deaths inside the park walls) and remained that way for a few years until it was purchased and rebranded by someone else. But by then, I was in college, or later, working and/or living out of state so I never got to go.
Fast forward a few more years and I’m now 31, driving around in town and I hear a commercial on the radio for the same waterpark. This time without parents to beg to take me, I resolve to make it happen this summer, which ended up being this past Saturday.
So we get into the park, it’s 90 degrees, we’re sweating our asses off and ready for some water! The famous cliff jump (where most of those 6 deaths occurred) just happened to be the first thing we stumble upon and everyone (except Ulysses) is like “yeah, we got this!”
My brother goes first and pencils himself perfectly into the water. My sister in law is next and after a few “omg are we really jumping off a 23 foot cliff” glimpses between the two of us at the top, she manages to hurl herself off and into the water without incident as well. And there’s me, left alone at the top with about 50 people in line behind me eagerly waiting their turn. It’s one of those moments where you’re like “f^&%, what did I just get myself into?” but you know you can’t back out.
So I jump.
And then there’s that horrible free fall butterfly feeling in your stomach for about .75 seconds that feels like it lasts an eternity before you hit the water. My feet go first, my arms were still somewhat crossed and the next thing I know I’m under water thinking “shit, that was just a LOT of water up my face”. Up I swim only to be greeted by Ulysses (who was in the pool at the bottom waiting for all us fools) saying “holy shit are you ok?!” And I’m like “ok? yeah, why wouldn’t I be???” Well, apparently my head was faced down and when I hit the water I unknowingly hit it like forehead first and my head snapped back on impact. I thought it felt rather forceful, but I had no idea I was facing down and didn’t put two and two together.
I shake it off thinking, yeah dude, I’m fine, no worries…
Until a couple hours later and I all of a sudden have a this really weird watery feeling in my head. Not water in my ears like you’d expect from a water park, but like there’s water in.my.actual.head.
And then 3 hours later in the car when it starts pounding so badly I can’t even handle a conversation or the slightest noise from the radio.
Fast forward to when we get home and I think I’m about to puke unless I lay down for a bit.
And then yesterday morning when I wake up to my neck feeling like it got run over by a train.
Um, hello, concussion (and probably why that 5 mile run I decided to go on anyway felt like absolute death yesterday).
That’s apparently what I get for jumping off cliffs at 31 and not 13.
Clearly this is all my parents’ fault for not just taking me then.
So perhaps I’m better suited to act like an adult on the weekends, making sticks of melon balls, prosciutto and mozzarella and feeding them to people that come over for drinks and conversation, not jumping off 23 foot cliffs.
Melon Prosciutto & Mozzarella Sticks
- half a cantaloupe, seeds removed, scooped out into balls using a melon baller (alternatively, cut into cubes if you don't have a melon baller)
- 6 slices prosciutto, torn into bite sized pieces
- 5 ounces small mozzarella balls, cut in half
- handful of fresh basil
- toothpicks or kebab sticks cut down in size
- balsamic vinegar
- On each toothpick/kebab stick arrange a ball of melon, then a piece of fresh basil, a half of a mozzarella ball, another piece of basil, a piece of prosciutto, another piece of basil and finally another cantaloupe ball.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze before serving if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.