My first recipe of the evening was the watermelon pickles.
- 1 10 pound watermelon
- 6 cups water
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- Cold water
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 15 inches stick cinnamon, broken
- 2 t. whole cloves
Cut rind from the watermelon (you should have 4 1/2 pounds rind) Trim off the pink flesh and the green and pale green outer portions of the watermelon rind; discard those portions. Cut the rind into 1 inch squares or other 1 inch shapes. Measure 9 cups rind.
Place the 9 cups rind in a large nonmetal bowl. In another large bowl combine the 6 cups water and pickling salt; pour over rind, add more to cover if needed. Cover bowl and allow to stand at room temperature overnight.
Pour the rind mixture into a colander set in sink. Rinse mixture under cold water; drain well. Transfer rind to a 4 quart heavy pot. Add enough cold water to cover rind.
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes or until rind is tender; drain.
Meanwhile, for syrup, in a 6 to 8 quart stainless steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot, combine sugar, vinegar, the 1 1/2 cups water, the stick cinnamon , and cloves.
Bring to boiling stirring until sugar dissolves; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve or use a slotted spoon to pick out cloves and cinnamon. Return liquid to the same pot.
Add watermelon rind to syrup in pot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 25 to 30 minutes or until rind is translucent.
Pack hot rind and syrup into hot sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Wipe rims, adjust lids.Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes at a full boil. Remove jar. Makes 6 half pint jars.
For the final portion of the watermelon, the juice, I put together the watermelon jelly. I used a basic recipe from the pectin package and making sure that I used the correct ratios so that it would set this time.