Last week my friend gave me a watermelon, a traditional summer gift in this part of the world. Even after giving half of it to the neighbours, I still wasn't sure how I was going to eat the other half. It just seemed so huge.
Then it suddenly dawned on me, I didn't have to eat it, I could drink it.
This watermelon concoction is more commonly associated with Tonga (where it's known as otai) than with Samoa, but variations of this drink are found across the Pacific Islands. This is my favourite version of it, and it's inspired by my sister O. Just like her, it's sweet and cool, with just the right touch of coconut.
Vaimeleni is the kind of drink you make out on the porch, on a hot slow summer's day when you've got nothing better to do. Wear an old lavalava and T-shirt, because the watermelon scraping can get quite messy. Better still, get some kids to do the scraping. This is a drink that's fun and messy and delicious.