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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting the most from your Watermelon

There are so many summertime fruits I love. Watermelon included. But even when I eat my melons I like to do a bit of squeezing the eagle. Once you've consumed the melon, SAVE those rinds! They make GREAT pickles (which I'm going to show you today). While I've not yet tried it I hear they also work great for use in stir fry cutting them up and using them like any other vegetable!

But, first let's make some pickles! If you are not cutting up the melon all at once, you can store the rind in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it. It's best not to store it more than 2 or 3 days though.

Make sure all the pink flesh is removed from the rind. Then, using a vegetable peeler, cut the dark green rind away from the firm white flesh. You are left with a piece of all white flesh.

Cut this peeled white flesh into one inch cubes (should make about 4 quarts) and cover with cold water. Add 3 tablespoons salt and let stand overnight.

In the morning, drain, rinse with fresh water and drain again. Cover again with fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the cubes are JUST BARELY tender. Don't overcook!

Now, combine 3 1/2 cups vinegar (I use white vinegar) with 1/2 cup water. Add 6 cups sugar, 6 sticks whole cinnamon (I like to break mine into a few pieces although I'd not yet broken them up when I took this photo), and 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the syrup mixture over the rind cube and let stand for 24 hours. Drain off the syrup and bring to a boil once again. Then pour it over the cubes once again. Let stand 24 hours. After the wait period, bring all to boiling and simmer 5 minutes. Fill hot sterilized jars and seal. This will make about 7 to 8 pints of pickles.

Additionally I add a bit of food color to my pickles. I make some batches with red and some with green as it makes such a pretty presentation on your Christmas dinner table....not to mention it tastes yummy too!


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