Ginger Crisps

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup milk, warmed to room temperature
1/4 cup very finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter. Sift sugar again and beat with butter until smooth. Add vanilla. Sift flour again and add in 3 batches to butter mixture, alternating with milk. Beat until creamy, then stir in ginger. Using a metal spatula, spread batter 1/8 inch thick on a buttered, chilled cookie sheet. With a knife, deeply score batter to make strips approximately 6 inches by 1 inch. (If batter isn’t firm enough, cook halfway and then score.) Bake about 30 minutes, until dark golden brown. Cut along scored lines while still hot. Let cool, then store in an airtight container. Makes about 50 crisps.

Watermelon Gazpacho

1 four-pound watermelon or 4 cups juice
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Midori melon-flavored liqueur
juice of 1 lemon
pinch salt
1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (optional)
1 peach, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
24 blueberries
24 raspberries
2 medium strawberries, sliced lengthwise
8 ounces passion fruit or other sorbet

Remove watermelon rind and seeds. Pulse watermelon in food processor or blender on low speed. Place a clean dishtowel in a large strainer over a bowl and pour watermelon purée into it. Allow to drain overnight in refrigerator. The next day, wring out remaining juice. Add sugar, liqueur, lemon juice, and salt. Keep chilled.

To make seeds, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Melt chocolate and drip about 30 drops onto the paper. Refrigerate for about 1 minute, until firm around edges but still soft in center. Put another sheet of waxed paper on top and press drops with a spatula until slightly flattened. Refrigerate until firm.