This year, the timing really worked out because we had this giant live oak that shaded the whole backyard, and half of it fell over, leaving the bare patch you see below. There was some (minimal) landscaping back here, but between the enormous fallen tree, the guys who cleaned the tree up and the guys who rebuilt the fence, there wasn't much of anything green left. So we decided raised beds were the way to go. We stripped the remaining landscaping and tilled up half the backyard. (Much to my husband's amusement, he came home one day to both of us in cammo cargo short and sports bras, tilling like mad.)
I've seen recipes for watermelon rind pickles in my canning books for a while, but generally, grocery-store bought watermelons don't have enough rind to really work with. You're looking for the green flesh in between the outer skin and the pink part. One of the watermelons I picked was not quite ripe yet and still had quite a lot of rind, so I decided to check out this whole rind pickle situation. Most recipes advise to trim off all the pink, but the pink bit I left on was very firm.
Cut the rind into whatever size/shape makes you happy.
|Before the second cooking.|
Because I am total crap about sticking to recipes, I ordered some ph paper. To make sure a product is safe for water-bath canning, it needs to be at a ph of 4.6 or less. Any higher, and whatever you're canning needs to be pressure canned. Most canning recipes are carefully tested to determine what method needs to be used in the canning process. Because I like to fiddle, I wanted to ensure I wasn't going to poison anyone, especially because I'm fond of giving my canned goods as gifts. So now I go all mad scientist and test any recipes that I don't strictly follow (which is basically never).
Up next, adventures in stevia. My stevia plant is gigantic, and I need to prune it and start preserving it soon!
- One medium to large watermelon with some green rind present between the outer skin and the pink flesh (harder to find than you might think)
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 lemon, coarsely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 T. whole allspice
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 T candied or fresh ginger
- 4-5 cups chopped watermelon
- 2 cups sugar (I used granulated, but I've been wondering how half brown sugar, half white would be)
- 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract or the inside of one vanilla bean
- 3 T. pectin (classic)
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 2 T. lemon mint (finely chopped)