Saturday, July 2, 2016

STOP...Don't Waste that Watermelon Rind!

It's watermelon season again and another opportunity for grown-ups to teach the little ones the disgusting but thoroughly fun art of spitting seeds.  (I know a number of melon patches that have been started that way.) 
 But you might want to think twice before you toss the rinds.  Watermelon Rind Preserves are made from the part of the watermelon that you don't eat anyway, so except for the cost of one lemon and the sugar, it's virtually FREE...and it's EASY.

 This recipe has been in my husband's family for 80+ years (that we know of) and was probably handed down from a previous generation before that. Give it a try and enjoy.

Mary Ellen's Watermelon Rind Preserves
2 lbs. watermelon rind
1 qt. cold water
1/4 c. non-iodized salt
1 lemon
4 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 c. hot water

Pare the watermelon rind and cut into cubes.

(That means cut off the green rind and remove any remaining red.  Then cut the white part into cubes)
 Cover (white cubes) with cold water and salt and let stand overnight. In the morning, drain and cook in fresh water, to cover, until tender. Drain.
Mix sugar, hot water and thinly sliced lemon and add the cooked watermelon. Cook until transparent (really transparent). Seal at once in sterilized jars. (Turn sealed jars upside down for 20 minutes or so. Then right side up to cool.)

Think ahead to the holidays.  Homemade preserves make great gifts...
and all for the cost of a jar and some sugar.