In Act 5, Scene 1, of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, King Alonso asks his jester, Trinculo, “How camest thou in this pickle?” And the drunk Trinculo – who has indeed gotten into trouble – responds “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last …”
Well, I’m not in that sort of pickle. I made Watermelon Rind Pickles.
Four great things about watermelons:
- The meat tastes great on a summer day. The redder the better, I say!
- The black seeds can be salted and baked in the oven for about 10 minutes to make something very similar to sunflower seeds, only you eat the whole thing. You cannot get the black seeds in a seedless watermelon, however, so you may have to go to an organic or farmer’s market to find them.
- The juice of the watermelon makes a fine drink when filtered through a very fine mesh. Pantyhose works very well for this, clean of course!
- The rinds make delicious pickles, so you can have watermelon with your roast pork in the winter time when summer is only a warm memory. The best rinds are from the larger melons, usually the ones with seeds, so if you want good pickles, you might want to get melon with seeds.
If you have pickling juice left over, you can make pickled beets. Take the sliced beets and put them in the leftover juice. They are delicious with my fried chicken and potato salad.
Let’s Make Pickled Watermelon Rind
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- 1 Watermelon
- 1 quart Water
- 3 tablespoons Salt
- 2 cups Cider Vinegar
- 6 cups Sugar
- 1 tablespoon cloves whole
- 3 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon ground
- 1 teaspoon Cloves ground
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg ground
- ½ teaspoon Mace ground
- After eating the watermelon, scoop out any remaining flesh and set it aside for your treat.
Prepare the Pickles
- Peel and cut watermelon rind. Rinse in water.
- Bring a quart of water and 1/2 cup of salt to a boil. Remove from the heat, and put in a large bowl with the rinds. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Drain rinds well. Boil for 10 minutes in another quart of water. Drain and set aside. Put spices into a tea ball. If you don't have a tea ball, clean pantyhose will work just fine.
- Bring a quart of water to the boil and add vinegar, sugar, and spices. Boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add rind and cook for about 45 minutes or until the rind is clear. Remove spices. Put in quart mason jars, then pour liquid to about a half an inch from the top. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes, or until you hear the jars pop.
How to Process
- To process, first put the jars and rings into a pot so they are not touching the bottom. A pasta pot with an insert works fine for this if you do not have a canner. Put water in the jars so they do not float around. Bring them to a boil, and let them sit in the hot water until you are ready to fill them. Remove them from the water, fill, and put back in the pot, in the same hot water. You will know when they are ready when you have heard all the jars “pop”. Remove from the heat, and let them sit in the water until they are cool enough to touch. You can store them at this point. They must be refrigerated once they are open. You may reuse the jar and ring, but not the seal.
Watermelon Rind pickles are particularly good with pork and chicken.