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Watermelon Pickles

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Cherries add a little extra color to these watermelon pickles.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds watermelon rind
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon broken stick cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 5 maraschino cherries, halved,optional

Preparation:

Trim the dark green and pink parts from watermelon rind. Cut rind in 1-inch cubes and measure 7 cups. Soak watermelon rind overnight in a mixture of the pickling salt and water. If it takes more to cover, use the same proportion salt to water. Drain and rinse watermelon rind. Cover rind with cold water in a large saucepan; cook just until tender.

Meanwhile, in a 6 to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven, combine sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, whole cloves, and 1 cup water. Simmer mixture 10 minutes, then strain. Add drained watermelon rind, lemon slices, and maraschino cherries, if using. Simmer the mixture until watermelon rind is translucent. Fill hot half-pint jars with watermelon rind and syrup mixture, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 pints.

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