Folk Fare: Watermelon Pickle

Old fashioned, thrifty, and just in time for summer.

3 quartswatermelon rind (about 6 pounds)
3/4 cupsalt
8 cupssugar
3 cupsvinegar (white or cider)
1 Tbspwhole cloves
6 piecescinnamon stick, 1" each
1lemon, thinly sliced
as neededwater

Remove skin and any pink flesh from rind; [eat the pink stuff, it tastes good - Ed.] cut into 1" pieces. Mix salt and 3 quarts of water, use to cover watermelon; let stand, covered, overnight.

Drain, and cover with fresh cold water in a large pot; heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain.

Combine sugar, vinegar, 3 cups of water, and spices (tie up spices in cheesecloth, if you prefer); heat until sugar dissolves.

Remove seeds from lemon slices and add to sugar mixture. Add watermelon rind, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for about an hour or until rind is translucent.

Remove spices and pour rind and syrup into warm, sterilized canning jars; to each jar add one cinnamon piece from the spices.

Fasten lids (not too tight), place jars in a large pot or canner, and cover jars with boiling water; boil for 5 minutes, remove jars, tighten lids if needed, and cool.
(Ginny Huszagh)

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