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!