I had made these Watermelon Rind pickles last August, but didn't want to post the recipe until I was sure they tasted like what I remembered. Well, I served them this evening for Christmas dinner, and my brother and younger sister both said they tasted just like they remembered - hooray! Somehow we lost the recipe somewhere along the way, but my sister had copied down the ingredients, minus the directions, so I was able to use her ingredient list plus some directions I found on line.
1/4 c. pickling or non-iodized salt
8 c. cold water
4 qts. 1" cubes pared watermelon rind*
1 piece ginger root
3 sticks cinnamon, broken
2 T. whole cloves
8 c. cider vinegar (5-6% acidity)
9 c. sugar
In a glass bowl, stir together water and salt until salt has dissolved. Add watermelon rinds and any additional water needed to cover them. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
The following day, drain watermelon rinds from the salted water and place in a large saucepan. Cover with fresh water, then place over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil rinds for 30 min., then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, tie the spices in a piece of cheesecloth. Place into a large saucepan along with the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat and let stand for 15 min. Stir in the drained watermelon rind, then return to the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the rind is transparent and syrup is slightly thickened, 45-50 min. Remove and discard spices after 50 min.
Ladle into hot sterilized 1 pt. jars, leaving 1/2" head space. Wipe jar rims. Seal jars with lids and rings. Process in boiling water bath for 10 min.
Yield: 7 pints
*Note - a 14 lb. round watermelon yielded exactly 4 qts. of cubed rind.
Also, I had quite a bit of syrup left over, so I'll try the recipe again next summer and make the appropriate adjustments to the recipe. Stay tuned!