Thursday, May 08, 2008

Watermelon Rind Preserves

This week as I was visiting with my Grandmother she got to telling me about how much she loved her mother's watermelon rind preserves and that she hadn't had any since her mom died. Grandma is unfortunately in a nursing home right now and is not eating very well, so I decided I would find her some preserves. I called all the local grocers only to find out that most of them had never even heard of watermelon rind preserves. So I started pulling out my recipe books and found one in a 1935 Ball Blue Book. I love the look of this book!

Watermelon Rind Preserves:

4 lbs watermelon rind- trim off the red and eat immediately with the juice running down your arms then trim the dark green off leaving only the white part.

Alum-dissolved (optional) I didn't use this because I couldn't find it in the store

2 Lemons- very thinly sliced

9 cups Sugar

Spices -(even though the recipe doesn't specify the spices here, further down it says add cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Use the whole spices not the ground. I took the spices and tied them in a cheese cloth bag because they will discolor the fruit if you leave them in. I used about a tablespoon of each.)

Cut melon rind into cubes. Soak in a salt solution (2 quarts of water to 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt) overnight.

Drain. Parboil in fresh water containing a pinch of dissolved allum if desired. (The recipe doesn't say how long so I boiled them for about 15 minutes). Drain again. Make a syrup of 9 cups of sugar and 8 cups of water. Add 2 lemons sliced thin. If desired add some ginger root. (I didn't have any). Put spice bag and rind in and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and boil slowly until tender. (Ok, this took almost 3 hours! When I told my aunt I was making them she told me they took forever to get tender and she wasn't kidding!)

When they are done they will be almost translucent and the syrup will be thick. Pack into clean, sterilized hot jars ( I used 1/2 pint) and seal. I put mine in a water bath for 20 minutes.

They really turned out pretty! The recipe made 8 half pint jars.
I am stopping at the grocery store on my way to the nursing home today and get a couple fresh, hot biscuits and taking a jar of these preserves to Grandma. Hopefully they will taste as good as her mothers.
Have a blessed day!


Primgal55 said...

Hi Linda!

I feel like I have run into a kindred spirit - not only do we share the same name and many similiar interests ( Mitford Series, Sound of Music, gardening and morr) but when I saw the pictures of your pickles, I had to catch my breath. Just the other day, I was just telling a new friend about my mom's watermelon rind pickles. I remember my siblings and I eating watermelon at every meal for days so mom had enough rinds to make them. THANK YOU for the recipe and for bringing back such sweet memories. I am going to have to attempt them this summer! Thanks for stopping by blog - I know I will be back here often and I am adding your link to my blog. hugs, Linda

Heart4MyHome said...

Our Meemaw and our Aunt LOVE these! I have been wanting to get back into the swing of canning this year as I took a way too long break. I did get lots of homemade stocks pressure canned about a month ago, so I guess that counts. *grin*

Thank you so much for visiting my page. I love hearing from my readers. I love your site. It feels like home. Definitely got you bookmarked.

Libby said...

Oh I'm sure Grandma will enjoy those pickles so much . . . it's clear to see that they were made with all the proper ingredients and lots and lots of love *s*

MammyT said...

I can't wait to hear how your loving kindness to grandma will lift her spirits. I also can't wait to hear what you think. How do they taste? You said 9c. water and 8c. water. One should have been sugar, I think? Which one.
God bless you and your dear grandma.
Love, Nancy

Littlebit's collections said...

Hi there, I just wanted to thank you for your comment. Thoes look very yummy and at some point I think I will have to try and make thoes.

Lorrie said...

Wow, watermelon rind pickles - my grandmother used to make them and I loved them! I made them once and they were pretty good, but haven't done so for many, many years.
And we have so many other interests in common - especially your list of favourite books!
I just finished Jan Karon's latest, can't recall the name, but it's the one about Father Tim visiting his old home town.
Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm enjoying exploring yours.


Jaimie said...

Wow that is an old recipe! I saw something like this in Farmer Boy, one of the Little House books. I used to make jam and it is so nice to see people carry on that tradition. It really does tast better, doesn't it?

Kathy said...

What a great recipe! I used to can a lot. It can be fun to make jams and pickles, veggies, etc. Do the watermelon rinds taste like pickles? I see someone else besides you and I love the Mitford Series! Thanks for the unique recipe!...Kathy

dot said...

I haven't had any in years and years. Hope she enjoys them.
Thanks for your visit today.

Lovella said...

Oh how sweet Linda. What a kinds thing to do. I've never tasted these but I do have a watermelon in the fridge. I just may have to look at doing this once this summer.

Patty said...

My mother and I used to savor each and every bite of our pickled watermellon rinds. I haven't made them for a couple years but this year I should have time and plenty of watermellon rind to work with.

Hummingbird Chats said...

Hello Linda, All I can say is WOW,I have heard of watermelon rind pickles,but to find them in a 1935 Blue book..that is so great. I so love reding your blog, it always put a smile on my face..Katie
p.s. I agree with you it would have been easier to turn my house upside down and then keep only what I want. It seems like every time I think I have finish a room more stuff shows up. I think it's hiding under the beds.hehehe

Kindra said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday! You yourself have a wonderful blog! That was so nice of you to do that for your grandmother. She will enjoy, I'm sure! Have a great weekend!

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