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Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon is as American as apple pie. In fact, you can find a watermelon-based recipe in the very first cookbook published in the newly minted United States of America in 1776. The recipe was for watermelon rind pickles!

This summer, instead of tossing those watermelon rinds into the compost, consider setting aside a few for this tasty treat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups watermelon rind, peeled and cut into 1” x 2” pieces
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 allspice berry
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 slice fresh gingerroot
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

HOW TO

  1. Pour water into a large pot. Add salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add watermelon rind pieces and boil until tender (around five minutes). Strain and move rinds to a large metal bowl.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place a plate on top of the rinds to keep them submerged in the liquid. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for one day. Transfer to a glass jar and keep sealed in the refrigerator. Pickles will keep for up to 2 weeks.
     
Mike Parker

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