Yes, I'm celebrating today because it's National Watermelon Day. Watermelon is one of those foods that you either love or hate. There is no real in-between with watermelon.  I happen to love it, perhaps due to my southern roots.

My dad was born and raised on a farm in Alabama where they grew peanuts and, you guessed it, watermelon. He told stories of him and his brother sitting in the watermelon patch gobbling up the juicy fruit. No slices for them. They would cut the melon in half, dig out and eat what he called the "heart" of the melon and threw the rest away.

I eat my watermelon pretty much the same way. I buy a whole melon, cut it in half and scoop out the middle, never coming close to the rind. Add a little salt and I'm in melon heaven.

Are you a melon thumper? I was taught that thumping and listening for that deep, hollow sound is the best way to tell if a watermelon is ripe. Oh, and never, ever buy a melon that has a stem; that means the melon was picked and not allowed to naturally ripen on the vine. Also, a ripe watermelon will have a yellow spot on the skin where it touched the ground.

Join me, won't you, and enjoy a big slice of juiciness to celebrate National Watermelon Day. Bon appetit!