Crave: Don’t waste your watermelon rinds; make pickles
photo by: Courtesy of Mother Earth News
Don’t throw away the rinds of your summer watermelons — they’re actually edible.
Pickling is one way to use every part of your melon. Adding a small bottle of maraschino cherries gives the pickles a pretty rosy color.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Yields 5 pints.
4 to 5 quarts watermelon rind
4 quarts plus 2 cups cold water, divided
3 tablespoons salt
3 cups vinegar
10 cups sugar
1 tablespoon whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
2 teaspoons peppercorns
1 piece dried ginger root
1⁄2 cup maraschino cherries
Trim outer green skin and pink flesh from melon, leaving thin line of pink. Cut into 1 1⁄2-by-3⁄4-inch pieces.
In large pot or bowl, soak melon in mixture of 4 quarts cold water and salt for 24 hours. Drain.
In large stockpot, cover melon pieces with boiling water and boil gently for 1 1⁄2 hours. Drain, and put melon into ice water until thoroughly chilled. Drain.
Combine vinegar, remaining cold water, sugar, and spices tied in clean, thin white cloth, and bring to a boil. Add rind and boil gently for about 30 minutes; remove spices. Let stand for 24 hours.
Add cherries and bring pickle mixture to a boil. Pack in hot jars. Adjust lids at once. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and complete seals, unless closures are the self-sealing type.
Note: You can also substitute 1⁄2 teaspoon oil of cloves for whole cloves and 1⁄2 teaspoon oil of cinnamon for the sticks of cinnamon. If cherries fade in the jar, substitute a few from a new jar before serving.