He brought home a watermelon.
I was craving fruit and he brought me a whole watermelon.
A whole watermelon isn’t an extravagance in the scheme of things. But if feels extravagant. And somewhat like that old joke where eternity is defined as a ham and two people.
But I took to carving it up and made a big fruit salad that lasted for days.
And while I was at it, I peeled the rind and chopped that up, soaked it overnight, simmered it until tender, simmered it in spiced syrup, and put it in jars.
It won’t last until eternity, but maybe at least until midwinter. Which, at this moment, feels a blissful eternity away.
Watermelon Rind Preserves
I got this recipe from the gorgeous book, The Glass Pantry, which I don’t use anywhere as often as I ought to.
Yield: 2-3 pints
1 pound watermelon rind
5 quarts water
1/2 cup salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cloves
- Peel the skin from the rind and scrape the rind free of any flesh.
- Cut the rind into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Combine 4 quarts of water with the salt in a large bowl, and stir to dissolve the salt.
- Add the rind to the salt water and let soak overnight at room temperature.
- The next day, drain the rind.
- Place the rind in a stainless steel or other non-reactive saucepan with 2 cups of the remaining water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the rind is just tender when pierced with a fork. Depending on the thickness of the rind, this will take anywhere from 20-50 minutes.
- Drain well and set aside.
- In a saucepan large enough to hold the rind eventually, combine all the remaining ingredients (sugar, lemon, cinnamon stick, cloves, and remaining 2 cups of water).
- Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms, about five minutes.
- Add the rind to the syrup and cook over low heat until the rind becomes transparent, about 20-30 minutes (timing will, again, depend on the thickness of the rind).
- Remove the lemon slices and cinnamon stick.
- You can now pack the rind and syrup in jars and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, or put in jars and keep in the refrigerator for shorter-term keeping.
These photos and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.