August 27, 2014

Old Fashioned Watermelon Rind Pickles

On the Menu Today~
Old Fashioned Watermelon Rind Pickles

When I was in my 30's,
I worked at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store,
where I was first introduced to watermelon rind pickles.
I had never heard of watermelon rind pickles and
the fact that you could make "pickles" from watermelon "rinds" always peaked my curiosity.

I have wanted to make Watermelon Rind Pickles ever since.
What has taken me so long to make them?
Well, to be honest,
I haven't been canning that long, a few years really, but
I finally feel I can "tackle" the watermelon rind pickle...
So here goes!!

Let's listen to some Watermelon Music,
while we're making Watermelon Pickles~

Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 5 pounds watermelon rind
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling seasoning, make a bouquet garni
  • juice from 2 lemons
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut the green and pink parts from watermelon rind; discard green and pink parts. Cut the white part of the rind into 1-inch pieces; measuring 9 cups. Transfer the rind to a large bowl. Combine the 6 cups water and pickling salt; pour over watermelon rind (add more water, if necessary, to cover rind) Let stand at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Drain; rinse rind.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, cover watermelon rind with cold water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  3. In a 6-quart to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven, stir together the sugar, vinegar, the 1-1/2 cups water, and pickling bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the watermelon rind and lemon juice to the kettle. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until rind is clear. Discard bouquet garni.
  5. Prepare 3 pint jars and lids; wash jars and lids in hot sudsy water and rinse well. Heat the lids and jars by pouring boiling water over and letting them stand in the hot water until you use them. Fill a water-bath canner half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. In another large kettle, bring additional water to a boil.
  6. Immediately ladle the rind and hot sugar mixture into prepared jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Quickly cover with lids, screw bands on firmly. Place the jars on the rack in canner. Fill canner with additional boiling water so that the water reaches 1 inch over jar tops. Cover and bring to a rolling boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and cool. Check the seal on each jar. Set on cupboard and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
  7. Store in a cool, dark place. (will keep for 1 year)

Kitchen Tip:
How to make a Bouquet Garni~

Bouquet Garni: [boo-KAY gahr-NEE] A bunch of herbs (the classic trio being parsley, thyme and bay leaf) that are either tied together or wrapped in cheesecloth and used to flavor soups, stews and broths. Tying or bagging the herbs allows for their easy removal before the dish is served.

Watermelon, Pickles

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