Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Using everything but the seeds....

Remember the watermelon jelly we made from the overripe watermelon? Well that watermelon was well used. We pickled its rind! I’ve only heard about pickled watermelon rind. My grandfather told me about having it as a kid and how wonderful it was. So, we made them. What a process! It took several days to brine, then cook, then cook and can them. Again, something I can’t eat because of the lemon the recipe has, but my grandpa said they were great; he’s been enjoying quite a few of our pickles. :) I’ll take his word on that one.

Pickled Watermelon Rind
A Bitten Word recipe adapted from the National Center for Home Food Preservation

What you need!
2 quarts watermelon rind (equal to one medium-sized melon)
3/4 cup salt
3 quarts water
5 cups sugar
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
1 tablespoon (about 48) whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Allspice
1 lemon, thinly sliced, with seeds removed

Make it!

Trim the pink flesh and the green outer skin from the rind. Cut into small strips, about 1" x 2". Cover with brine made by combining 3 quarts water and 3/4 cup salt. Refrigerate for five hours or overnight.
Drain; rinse. Cover the watermelon with water and bring to a boil; continue cooking until fork-tender, about another 15 minutes. (Overcooking will cause the rinds to become rubbery.) Drain.
Combine sugar, vinegar, water and spice. Boil 5 minutes and then pour over watermelon; add lemon slices. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat watermelon in syrup to boiling; reduce heat to medium-high and for one hour. Pack the hot watermelon pickles loosely into clean, hot pint jars. Cover with boiling syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal lids.
To seal: Submerge the full jars in boiling water (enough water so the jars are 1-2" below the surface); boil for 15 minutes (or slightly longer at higher altitudes). Remove jars and let them sit undisturbed at room temperature for 24 hours. Check seals.

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