Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind

This past weekend, when my all time favorite boy, (who from here out will be known as) the honorable Ombudsman Vibrato and I had overindulged on cocktails to the point of illness, we thought a great solution would be late night consumption of a few jars worth of the pickled watermelon rinds that I had made in June.

By means of explanation as to what the heck we were thinking, the truth is, I don't know. Somewhere in the course of our previous evenings carousing, a guy (who I seem to recall was wearing a baseball cap, sideways, in a swank bar,) swore it was a sure fire hangover cure, and we latched on to it as the gospel. Turns out, (of course) it didn't do a thing to remedy the fact we had (and this is SO not a joke) actually consumed maple syrup and bourbon shots, (and a hearty thanks to whoever thought THAT up) but it did do a bang up job cleansing our sand-papered palates.

Only time and some serious self reflection could actually cure something as wrong as what we drank, but the pickles were still a tasty treat that I heartily endorse. They are sweet (really, almost cloying) with a lot of spice and a fun crisp-tender texture. Sure, canning tomatoes is practical, but this is like capturing a season in a jar. (And they are still in the markets kids, so don't you go telling me this post isn't timely.) Try them, and enjoy!

As with any canning or preserving, it is of the utmost importance that all of your equipment is sterile.

Rind of one large watermelon, uniformly chopped into rectangles, green skin removed
1/2 cup salt
1 quart white vinegar
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 large bunch thyme
6 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
6 cinnamon sticks

Add the rind to a large bucket or bowl with enough water to cover (about 3 quarts) and 1/2 cup of salt. Soak overnight in your refrigerator. The next day, drain the rinds.

In a very large pan, add the drained rinds and fresh water, to cover. Boil the rinds for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in another large pan, boil the vinegar, sugar and spices for five minutes (to infuse flavor), remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then add the (drained) rind and bring to a simmer for another 45 minutes or until the syrup is slightly thickened and the rinds are transparent.

Pack the rinds into hot sterilized 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch room, and seal tightly.

Makes about six pints


The first cookbook published in the United States in 1796 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.

Food Historian John Martin Taylor says that early Greek settlers brought the method of pickling watermelon with them to Charleston, South Carolina.

Farmers who grow grapes for juice and concentrate could be looking at an extra-large harvest this year. That's making a lot of them uneasy. The first of the few processors in the area sent out notices earlier this week about what growers will be paid for their Concord grapes: $100 per ton. That's down slightly from $105 per ton last year, and a sharp decline from the $200-plus per ton farmers were getting for their Concord crops several years ago. -Associated Press

Customize your M&M's!


These sound great! I hate to waste anything, so I made version of watermelon rind relish with curry and lots of indian spices. Now you've give me a new idea! I just found your blog from a comment you left on Gluten-Free girl, and I really like it!
Those are some interesting hangover cures! :) And I'm still trying to understand the maple syrup and bourbon shots concept. Whoa!
Oh my. That must have been some night. Great post and photos. My mother (who does not can anything) gets all wistful when she talks about eating my grandmother's pickled watermelon rinds when she was a kid. I'm more of a tomato/applesauce/etc. canner, but these do sound interesting. Hmmm. Might be a great surprise holiday gift for my mom!

I just found you through Blog Topsites. Am looking forward to reading more of your posts. Have a great day!
Michelle and FarmGirl - Thanks! I am excited to have new readers! Of course, I love both of your blogs too.

And Farmgirl - The best recipes for this include a presoak in lime, (not the fruit, the mineral) but I was a little sketched out to try something that is potentially toxic...(or corrosive, or whatever is wrong with it)

And Beth -
Tragically, it was the maple syrup and jack that gave us the hangovers in the FIRST place. It was somebodies idea of a fun new shot, only they didnt let us know until after we drank it...and lets just say, I dont recommend it. LOL
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