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Watermelon Preserves
September 12, 2017

Please forgive, I haven't made this yet. Dad was the expert on tasting watermelon rind preserves: his sister Orene always won the blue ribbon, ergo his opinion was accurate. Pappy (granddad, a farmer) was famous for the best watermelons in New Albany Mississippi area. Dad: Rind has to be thick but tender with no green left on - green parts cook up tasteless and leathery. Which is extremely hard to find because those traits mean melons don't ship well (break easily) and were bred out of fruit in commerce now. Pappy's melons were so intensely flavored you'd dream of them all winter! Their rinds trimmed of all green and pink were over 1" thick and snow white. Today rinds are thin, tough as nails, greenish. Farmers tell me to hunt out seeded watermelons, especially heirloom types, which are the sweetest and best tasting anyway. Farmers have to grow some to pollinate seedless ones. Also, Dad said lemon spoils the flavor completely. Orene didn't use it. The flavor should be reminiscent of citron. Factoid: a white meat watermelon was grown in the south just for it's rind which was candied and used as a substitute for more expensive citron. Dad passed 1 year ago, age 96.

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