a.. 2 pounds watermelon rind
b.. 1/4 cup pickling salt
c.. 4 cups water
d.. 2 cups sugar
e.. 1 cup white vinegar
f.. 1 tablespoon broken stick cinnamon
g.. 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
h.. 1/2 lemon -- thinly sliced
i5 maraschino cherries -- halved, optional
Trim the dark green and pink parts from watermelon rind. Cut rind in 1-inch cubes; measure 7 cups. Soak rind overnight in a solution of pickling salt and water. (If it takes more to cover, use the same proportion salt to water.) Drain; rinse watermelon rind. Cover rind with cold water. Cook just until tender.
Meanwhile, in a 6 to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven combine sugar, white vinegar, stick cinnamon, whole cloves, and 1 cup water. Simmer mixture 10 minutes; strain. Add drained watermelon rind, lemon slices, and maraschino cherries, if desired. Simmer the mixture till watermelon rind is clear. Fill hot jars with rind and syrup mixture, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath (pints) 5 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 pints.
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