Not as sweet as common watermelon pickles, and fantastic on turkey sandwiches (and don't forget to use the onions!). You can use cucumbers instead, but I prefer the firm texture of watermelon rind. (For crispness, I soak the cubes in a little alum and water, which is not recommended any longer.) If you leave the cubes big -- or even cut the rind into spears -- they're delicious straight from the jar and on relish trays.
- To prepare the melon, use a spoon to scrape away all the pink.
- Cut away the rind with a knife (this is fastest if you cut the melon into 3-inch squares).
- Cut rind into strips, cubes, or chunks.
- Layer the MELON and onion with salt in a large bowl; cover with ice cubes.
- Let stand 1 1/2 hours.
- Drain and rinse.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the MELON and onions and return to a boil.
- Pack hot PICKLES into hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
- Fit with lids.
- Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
This is a clear cut, no nonsense recipe which is really straightforward and not difficult. We made a mistake and picked a watermelon WAY before it was ripe (they aren't easy to judge) and so watermelon pickles it was. The only variation came from my using pickling spice as a substitute for mustard/celery seeds. And my only question is whether one is supposed to let them 'cure' for a week or two? That is what I decided to do.
First off, I have never had watermelon rind pickles before in my life, but have always been intrigued by them. After a few false starts (thanks fluffernutter for the help!) I have 6 jars of the crunchiest, yummiest, homemade pickles I've ever had. Ok, 5 jars now :) The onions are fantastic too. I will be making these every year now, they are definitely winners!!! Thank you for converting me!!
This was my first time making watermelon rind pickles and I chose this recipe because it didn't have the large amounts of sugar like all the other recipes, I found out that these tasted like my Grandma's bread and butter pickles that I loved so much as a kid but with watermelon rind and they are wonderful. I will definitely be making these again.