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Friday, July 30, 2010

Watermelon Rind - Part THREE!

TODAY I made Watermelon Rind JAM!

My sister was here from Seattle this week. And we had. . . watermelon! Now, I couldn't possibly just toss the rind on the compost pile, could I? Not if I'm to continue squeezing the eagle! So, here you have it. Watermelon Rind - Part 3! I PROMISE this is the FINAL installment for our watermelon rind "lessons".

As in past posts, you'll need to remove the rind from the watermelon and peel the outer green skin from it. I use a vegetable peeler. This time you don't have to be quite as careful in making sure all the red part of the rind is removed. It won't matter if a bit of that gets in the jam.

Cut the rind into chunks and process in your food processer until the chuncks resemble that of crushed pineapple. Place the "processed" rind in a large jar and cover with water to which you've added 1 cup of salt. Let stand overnight.

The next morning, drain off the water and add fresh water, placing the rind and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and set aside while preparing the syrup.

Combine in a large pot 3 cups vinegar, 2 cups strained red cherry juice (optional), 12 cups sugar, 12 cinnamon sticks, 3 tbsp. whole cloves. If you wish, you may tie the cinnamon and cloves in a cheesecloth bag. I don't mind the cloves in the jam, nor do I mind pulling the cinnamon sticks out and I think the flavor infuses better to keep them in the jam. Bring to a boil and simmer this mixture for ten minutes.

Finally combine and hot syrup with the drained watermelon rind and cook until the syrup thickens and is transparent. Put in sterilized pint jars, with at least one cinnamon stick in each jar. Screw on the flats and rings and process in boiling water bath to seal.

This is great with a bit of cream cheese on a cracker and then topped with some watermelon jam!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So, go ahead and eat another watermelon!

So, you've already made the pickles and you still have a watermelon craving? Go ahead, eat another watermelon. Even if you don't want to make any more pickles, you can still use the rind!

Watermelon rind tastes great in your traditional stir fry!

Cut and peel the rind as shown in the "pickle post".

Now cut the rind into small pieces (about 1 inch long by 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick).

Go ahead and prepare the stir fry in your usual manner adding the melon rind as one of the "veggies". Since it may take longer to cook than some of your other veggies, you may want to give it a head start.

That's all there is to it! A new "vegetable" for your old stir fry recipe....and best of all....nothing to throw away from the melon except a small green peel!
NOTE: The stir fry picture is NOT the stir fry I made with my melon rind. Of course I FORGOT to take a photo when I made it!

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!