Surely you don't just throw away the rind when you're finished eating the watermelon do you? Once again, I can hear my grandmother's voice tell me not to waste ANYTHING. These pickles are sweet and pungent, crisp and mouthwatering and delicious served with a variety of dishes.
2 lbs. watermelon rind
1 quart cold water
1/2 T. pickling lime
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
3 3/4 cup sugar
1 T. EACH whole cloves and whole allspice
3 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
green food coloring, optional
Use firm, not overripe, watermelon with a thick rind. Trim off green skin and all pink pulp. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
Combine 1 quart water with pickling lime. Pour over rind in enamel pan or bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain and cover with fresh water.
In an enamel pot, place rind and water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until rind is tender when pierced with fork. Drain.
Make a syrup of the vinegar, water and sugar by bringing to a boil. Cook until the sugar is dissolved.
Add spices (tied in cheesecloth bag for easy removal) and the rind. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 1 hour or until rind looks clear. Remove spices. Add food coloring, if used.
Pack pickles in hot, sterile jars. Fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal with lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 18 - 20 minutes.
Questions about canning? Go to THE authority http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started