I love trying new foods...and somewhere inside of me is a Prairie Mom itching to get out. I SO love any handmade crafts, and down-home, throwback recipes. We had watermelon this weekend, and I suddenly had the urge to turn this sweet Summer treat into some pickled watermelon rind! I scoured the internet for recipes, and took the best bits of each...and here's what I came up with:
STEP ONE: Cut away all of the flesh (pink) and peel (green) of the melon, leaving only the rind. (Now if you know me, you know I don't measure when I cook, and I do things as well as I can easily but I'm not OCD about it...some of you would use a toothpick to scrape away every last vestige of pink
but this is what mine looked like) and cut into about 1" pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl with water to cover and a couple of teaspoons of salt to soak in the fridge overnight.
STEP TWO (it is now the next day :): Rinse the melon in a colander, and place it in a stockpot covered with new, fresh water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. While this is happening, cut a square of cheesecloth and place 5 cinnamon sticks broken into small-ish pieces, about a teaspoon of cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed. (I didn't measure it and it came out great!)
STEP THREE: Tie up your cheesecloth into a cute little pouch!
STEP FOUR: Oh look, the watermelon is boiling! Boil it for 30 minutes over medium heat.
STEP FIVE: While the watermelon is boiling, put 2 quarts of Apple Cider vinegar (or white, I used the former) in a stockpot with 2 1/2 cups of sugar (approx.). Add that adorable little sachet of spices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir to make sure sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
STEP SIX: When the watermelon's done, drain it.
STEP SEVEN: Put the watermelon into the vinegar mixture and heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil for 45 minutes until watermelon is translucent. After 40 minutes of boiling, remove the spice sachet.
Remove from heat. Allow to cool, and can as you would can anything else, or put in a clean pickle jar in the fridge for more immediate eating :) I did the latter, and I used this recipe with the rind of one large melon.
The finished product! It is SO yummy! You can still taste the watermelon-y flavor but it has a lovely pickle-y crunch...I am SO making this again!