yeah… this has been a weird one…
As always, I was soooo excited to do this month’s canning. When I first read that we were entering the cucurbit world, I got all goofy about it. It wasn’t even hot enough in LA to fully enjoy the refreshing goodness of watermelons, but I was buying and eating. And the canning of the rind was what I wanted to do.
I liked both Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling and Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen recipes for the rind, but couldn’t decide between them. Then, things got complicated. Well, the discussion of race in the country and under my window took over.
I started avoiding my rind and avoiding this post. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shied away from eating watermelon in diverse company, but I wasn’t finding the nuanced, fun way to talk about watermelon, race and my canning of the lovely rind. The week started getting heavier than I expected. Then, it just got away from me.
I’ll come back and update over the weekend with more. I think I’ll be on the other side of this.
Gingery Watermelon Pickles
adapted from Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling
1/8 cup pickling salt
2 cups of water
3 cups of rind
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
1 cup of sugar
Hellllllo! Eat your watermelon down to the rind. Pink, be gone. Removed the green skin. I used a veg peeler. Cut up your rind into bite size pieces. In a bowl, dissolve the salt in 2cups of water. Add the rind and let it soak for 6 to 12 hours. I let it soak overnight.
Drain and rinse the rind a few times. Then, in a non-reactive pot, cover the rind with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 min. Drain the rind and set it aside.
Make a goody pouch from cheesecloth. Tie up the spices, ginger and lemon. Add it, along with the water, vinegar and sugar to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then lower the temp to let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes. Now, don’t forget to stir, stir, stir. When the syrup is ready, take it off the heat and add the rind. Let it sit in the syrup for 12 to 24 hours at room temp.
Prep and sterilize 3 .25L or 1/2 pint jars. Bring the rind and syrup to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and simmer until the rind is translucent. Remove the goody pouch. Fill jars and water bath process for 10 minutes.
NikkiBits: Linda’s recipe calls for a whole lot more watermelon than I’ve got space for or will carry. So I’ve tweaked it with my old math skills, but kept it a little heavy on the lemon.
What’s Next: I’m in love. That’s good, right? Okay, I’m always in love, but whatever. Next, I need to make Bryant’s Citrus & Spice Pickled Watermelon Rind.
So. Right. This weekend. Let’s maybe revisit this thing.