Reflections on a gift of a Watermelon Pickle recipe.

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This title will only make sense to people who remember a certain middle-school English Literature textbook.  I’m not sure I really understood the poem at the time but now I am glad that I (was forced to) read it … otherwise when I finally did stumble across a recipe for pickled watermelon rind, I might have laughed in disbelief and turned away!  Yes, it sounds weird and it may not have many redeeming nutritional qualities but it certainly is yummy and it surely makes a unique gift as well as a sure-fire conversation piece.

You will need a watermelon with a solid, thick rind for this recipe.  If you can manage to leave a little of the red flesh clinging to the inside, it provides a nice visual accent.  Carefully pare all traces of green off of the outside and cut into your preferred shapes.  I am partial to triangles and parallelograms but I have seen “fingers” that look great served in a ‘rocks’ glass.  Most recipes call for salting it overnight and then rinsing well in the morning … this is supposed to give it a better texture.  One day I will do a carefully designed and conclusive comparison of the two methods but until then I just race right in to the pickling stage and that leaves more time for the 1001 other tasks that daily surround us all!   Some recipes advise tying the spices in a cheesecloth for easy removal.  Personally, I like the look of the star anise and the cinnamon sticks.  As for the ginger and the cloves … well, I just chew them up for an extra flavour hit!

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Watermelon Pickle

Bring to a boil in a non-reactive pot …

2 c apple cider vinegar

2 c apple cider

1 c organic cane sugar

1 T sea salt

2 pieces of star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1 whole nutmeg – carefully cut in half

1 T each of whole cloves and peppercorns

2 T ginger root – peeled and sliced across the grain

10 c watermelon rind – all green removed and cut into small, attractive pieces

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rind is translucent and texturally soft – but not soggy  (about 10 minutes).

In each of 2 one-litre canning jars (heat-resistant!!) place….

1 lemon and 1 orange – sliced and de-seeded

Fill the jars  with the watermelon pieces and pour the hot pickling liquid over all to cover.  Lid the jars and allow them to cool.  These pickles are really better if you can allow them to macerate for a couple of days … but I will understand if you can’t wait.

Note, please that these pickles need to be refrigerated!  You can process them in a water bath so that they are shelf-stable … but I never do.  There is always room in the fridge and they don’t seem to last long anyway!  Enjoy!

 

And finally … one of the 1001 reasons that I love my job …

fawn 1 cropped The scenery is fantastic!  This little darling’s Mom parked him/her for the day in the long grass in the centre of the labyrinth while she went off to do Mom-deer things.  I hope the little guy got a lot of meditation done.  Thanks to everyone for being so respectful and letting her/him enjoy the peace of this place.

Take care of yourselves, each other and the rest of the world!  ❤