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Monday, August 3, 2020

Watermellon Day

As you drove down highway 1 in Southern Illinois in years past you would have seen the large watermellon stands. My daddy took a job down here in the early '80s and while it had no reasoning on taking the job my daddy also loved watermellon. We would visit the stands nearly weekly and enjoy a nice slice of watermellon. Perhaps you are aware that today August 3rd is National Watermellon Day. 



Many family picnics and cookouts would not have been the same without a slice of watermellon. While watermellons are 90% water they also have a delicous flesh to enjoy on a hot summer day. A grand variety of watermellons are common in the United States and Mexico. Watermellons with flesh colors of reed, pink, white and yellow in a varity of sizes and shapes. The largest mellon in the guiness book of world records tipped the scales at 350.5 lbs. 

Did you know that pioneers would use the watermellon as sort of a canteen?? You can find facts like this and more at watermellon.org. In fact did you know that you can eat every inch of the watermellon including the green rind?? Here are a few ways to do just that:


  • Because the cucumber rind is a bit like that of a cucumber many will use the rind to make up watermellon rind pickles
  • This next way may surprise you a bit as you can make juice from the rind of a watermellon. 
  • You can even make a watermellon rind be part of the supper by stir frying it. 



 4 qts prepared watermelon rind
3 Tbsps Mrs. Wages® Pickling Lime
2 qts water
8 cups granulated sugar
1 qt Mrs. Wages® Pickling & Canning Vinegar (5% acidity)
1 qt water
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 Tbsps whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon (3-inch pieces)
2 pieces ginger root (1-inch long)

To prepare watermelon rind, trim dark skin and pink flesh from thick watermelon rind. Wash and cut in 1-inch pieces or as desired. Dissolve lime in 2 quarts water in a food grade storage container. Pour over rind. If needed, add more water to cover rind. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
Drain and rinse several times to remove all lime. Put rind in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Simmer just until tender and drain.
Prepare home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions. Keep jars hot. Tie cloves, cinnamon, and ginger in cheesecloth bag. In a large saucepan, combine spices with sugar, vinegar, the remaining 1 quart water, and lemon. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add watermelon rind and simmer until rind is clear. Add boiling water if syrup becomes too thick before rind is clear. Remove spice bag.
Pack rind into hot jars, leaving 1⁄2-in headspace. Add syrup leaving 1⁄2-in headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims. Adjust lids and process for 10 minutes, using boiling water bath method.


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3 comments:

  1. Simply amazing, great utilization of resources.

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  2. I am impressed. I don't think I've met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here.
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