It's summertime and the watermelon tastes great. Don't know what to do with all the leftover watermelon rind? How about Watermelon Pickles from the Junior League of Lafayette cookbook, Talk About Good II! The recipe features an ingredient you may not be familiar with if you haven't pickled watermelon rind before. It's called lime of calcium oxide and you'll be able to find it at local supermarkets and hardware stores, but be aware that it may also be called pickling lime or quick lime. And don't worry, if you decide that sterilizing jars is a little too much for you, just put the pickles in clean jars in the fridge, they should keep for two weeks.
4 pounds prepared watermelon rind
Lime water (about 2 tablespoons lime of calcium oxide in 2 quarts of cold water)
2 tablespoons whole allspice
2 tablespoons whole cloves
10 2-inch pieces stick cinnamon
1 1/2 quarts white vinegar
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 quart water
4 1/2 pounds sugar
To prepare melon, pare skin and pink flesh. Cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares or spears. Soak for 2 1/2 hours in lime water. (Lime of calcium oxide can be purchased from drug store.) Drain, cover with fresh water, and cook until tender (about 1 1/2 hours), adding more water as needed. Let stand several hours or overnight. Drain. Put spices in cheesecloth bag, tying loosely. Bring to boil the spices, vinegar, lemon, water, and sugar. Add rind and boil slowly for two hours, or until syrup is fairly thick. Remove spice bag. Pack pickles in clean hot jars, fill with boiling syrup and seal.
Recipe compliments of Junior League of Lafayette.