Watermelon-rind Pickles




  • 4 quarts watermelon rinds (the rind of one large watermelon)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 quart white distilled vinegar
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced 


Peel the green skin off the melon rind and trim off any remaining pink flesh. Cut into one-inch squares and place in a large stockpot. Add the salt and enough boiling water to cover. Simmer over low heat until the rind is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the rind and chill in very cold water for at least two hours or as long as six hours. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Reduce the heat to low. Tie the cinnamon and cloves in a square of cheesecloth and add to the syrup mixture. Add the lemon slices. Drain the rind, place in the syrup and simmer over low heat until the rind becomes slightly transparent, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Pack the rind and syrup into hot, sterilized canning pint-size jars, leaving a one-fourth inch space at the top of each jar. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth, fit them with the hot lids, and tightly screw on the metal rings. Process in a bath of boiling water for 10 minutes (the water should cover the jars by one inch), then cool on a wire rack, and store in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening. Makes 4 pints.





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