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This recipe is a very very OLD one... it's from the days of the depression and before. My family is Polish though I'd never be able to accurately say this is a Polish recipe. I could comfortably refer to it as an Old World recipe.
People certainly saved most everything and pickled many things the average person wouldn't understand or even think appetizing.
My Grandmother made these every Summer and they were a big hit and a standard item on the dinner table. It's certainly an acquired taste and you NEED to let them pickle for a duration of time to get the full taste.
Most people try them and are surprised to learn they are watermelon rinds. They are flavorful, sweet and tangy.
This recipe is rather close to our family's recipe.
I am pretty sure, my Grandma stuffed the jars with the rinds, cinnamon sticks and the other spices then poured the brine into the jars, then properly followed her typical canning procedure. As a child, I seem to remember the rinds being raw or blanched (they were firm) when they went into the jars. I would have to confirm with other family members about this.. but can assure you these rinds were cut in longer 3-4 inch lengths.
I don't believe she colored her brine too often, but seem to remember seeing a few green Watermelon Pickles on extended family member's tables.
This recipe isn't for everybody.. but for those who enjoy Watermelon Pickles, this would be a great recipe to try!
Just don't limit the spices when boi
I grew up canning and eating watermelon pickles at my grandmother's and great-grandmother's. They have always been my favorite pickles. When we make them though, we never brine them overnight or pre-boil them in water. Just put the vinegar, spices and rind in a stock pot and boil until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then put in about six pint jars and seal. This a lot faster and easier.
Tried this recipe because my Husband had eaten it as a child tho I'd never heard of it. What a pleasant surprise!! If you enjoy Sweet Pickles you'll like this as did all my family & co-workers!! My first batch was with 1 rind as per the recipe but after increased demand my next batch I used 2 rinds. I increased the cider vinger to 2 quarts & the suger to 3 cups also over mesured the spices slighty. Tasted just like the first batch!!! Note: My Husband used the discarded spice bag in his garage for a week! What a wonderful smell!
Loved the recipe-made without the mustard seed. I didn't remember my mom using that ingredient so I left it out. When I took a jar over to the nursing home to visit an elderly relative several people there sampled. Their consensus-the pickles tasted like they remember making/eating them when younger. They should know!
pickled watermelon is an acquired taste but I do like the stuff. I had a recipe I liked and lost so tried this one. I liked my old one better. Not sold on liking mustard seed in my watermelon. woo hoo found my old one! It has more sugar as well as lemon and cloves.
I didn't want these to get too rubbery in texture so I didn't boil them as long as stated. I hope this makes no difference in the canning of them as to them staying viable in the jars for the duration. The jars did seal and I opened one up after two weeks. I was pleasantly surprised these are delish! Beware these are addictive but sooooo goood!
I have always heard of pickled watermelon rinds but never had the spunk to complete the task of actually doing it. I have to say that since I've made them me and my whole family LOVE them. The taste is similar to a sweet pickle so I love substituting them in recipes. I had a great time making them and an even better time enjoying them. I now make them with every watermelon we buy.