John Leeper’s Watermelon Pickle
10 pounds peeled watermelon rind (see below)
12 pounds granulated sugar
1 quart white vinegar
18 to 20 drops oil of cinnamon
18 to 20 drops oil of cloves
Cut all green parts from watermelon rind before weighing (if firm, a little of the green may be left on). Cut into pieces, put in large pot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Drain, and wash with cold water. Let stand in colander until well drained (1 to 2 hours), then put into enameled kettle. Pour sugar, vinegar, and oils over rind. Let stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Boil 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 4 or 5 days, stirring once each day, before putting into jars. Follow regular canning methods for pickling.
Makes About 10 Quarts
From “Specialty of the House,” originally featured in Domain, Fall 1988.