This is the pickle that my family loves the most. Some cooks color the rind red by adding food coloring to the syrup. This is not necessary or traditional, but it is pretty, especially if cutting the rind into shapes. Back when I had time, I would color some jars red and some jars green, cutting into Christmas shapes for use as garnish at Christmas time. Cutting the rind into shapes takes a lot of time, but is a good activity to keep kids busy. My kids would cut shapes until they got tired using the small cocktail cutters. Then I would cube the rest and throw in all together with the scraps from the shapes. The kids would enjoy finding their shapes when eating the pickles up to a year later.
Rind of a large watermelon (about 4 quarts, prepared)
½ cup salt OR 2 ½ tablespoons slaked lime or pickling lime
3 quarts cold water
1 ½ quarts boiling water
3 cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons whole allspice
3 tablespoons whole cloves
5 3-inch sticks cinnamon
peel of 1 lemon
hot sterilized jars and lids
- Prepare watermelon rind by removing all of the pink meat and the green skin from the rind leaving the white. Using an underripe watermelon is desireable. Cut rind in 1 inch squares and measure. You should have 4 quarts of prepared rind. ( Rind can be cut into shapes using small cutters)
- Prepare a brine of the salt and cold water. Pour over the prepared rind. Cover and let stand overnight. If a crisp pickle is desired cover with water and slaked lime instead of salt.
- Next morning, drain and rinse well with fresh water.
- Cover the rind with fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, approximately 10 minutes. (If you used lime, it will still be crisp.) Drain.
- Combine boiling water, vinegar, sugar, spices and lemon peel. Bring to a boil. Add the watermelon. Bring to a boil again and boil gently until the rind is clear and transparent, about 45 minutes.
- Pour immediately into hot sterilized jars. Seal at once. Makes 4 – 5 pints.
I prefer to use the pickling lime for a really crisp pickle. Be sure to rinse it well until all the salt or lime is washed off the surface. I have made this using oil of cinnamon and oil of cloves, but you have to be very careful, those flavors are intense. Using grated cloves
or cinnamon makes a muddy pickle.
Spiced Cantaloupe Pickles
This is an old recipe that is enjoying a comeback. I had never eaten it growing up and then sampled some in the mountains of North Carolina on a trip. I had to have the recipe! I found this one in an old book from the 1800’s. Its easy to do and could be scaled down to be used as a refrigerator pickle. Excellent flavor.
7 lbs Cantalope
3 lbs sugar
8 sticks cinnamon
1 T whole cloves
Sterile jars and lids
Peel rind and cut cantaloupe into one inch pieces. Soak over night in weak vinegar. To each seven pounds of fruit, add three pounds of sugar and eight sticks of cinnamon, one tablespoonful of whole cloves. Cook about an hour and one-half or until the fruit becomes transparent. Place in ‘sterile jars and seal. Serve as a relish or side dish with chicken or meats.
4 quarts small beets
3 cups vinegar, more if needed
2 cups water
2 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons allspice
3 inch stick of cinnamon
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
Hot sterilized jars and lids
Cook the beets until just tender. Slip off the skins.
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.
Add the beets to the vinegar and simmer 5 minutes longer.
Pack the beets into hot sterilized jars. Bring the vinegar to a boil and pour over beets. If there is not enough vinegar mixture to cover, add hot vinegar.
Seal immediately, hand tighten bands.
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Makes about 4 quarts.
1 quart chopped cabbage
1 quart chopped green tomatoes
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 cup vinegar
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon celery seed
jars, lids, and rings
1. Combine vegetables and salt. Let sit overnight.
2. Drain vegetables. Squeeze out all moisture
3 . Prepare the Jars by cleaning and covering with boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, then keep hot until ready to fill.
4 . Combine vinegar, sugar, and spices in a saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cup water and boil for 5 minutes.
5 . Stir into vegetables in kettle. Bring to a boil.
6 . Put in sterile jars and seal while still hot. Hand tighten lid.
7 . Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes to complete seal.
4 pounds very firm pears
4 pounds sugar
2 cups seedless raisins
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
6 tablespoons lemon juice
Hot sterilized jars
Ok, this recipe is a blast from the past. I used to eat these as a snack with my mother, sitting on the back porch. Pickled Pig’s Feet are a whole lot better than they sound! Remember the old addage that the meat is better next to the bone? Well, pig’s feet are a lot of bone, knuckle and succulent meat! You have to work to get that meat, but boy is it worth it! Try this recipe:
Pickled Pig’s Feet
4 pig’s feet
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 bay leaves
4 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large onion, sliced
1 hot green pepper, whole
1. Take all four feet, clean and scrape ’em till
they’re spotless, flip off the hoofs, and cut between the toes. Put ’em in a pot and cover with salted water. Simmer til the meat is ready to come off the bone, but don’t let it!
2.While they are cooking: mix the cloves, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar, onion, hot pepper and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer 20-30 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups of the juice from the foot to the vinegar,
4. Put the feet in a jar so they stand if you can,
and pour the vinegar over them. Cover and refrigerate
for 3 days to a week before eatting.
5. The longer they marinate, the more flavor! Enjoy!
8 quarts green tomatoes
Salt to taste
2 quarts sweet green and red peppers
2 quarts onions, chopped
2 large cabbages
1/4 cup white mustard seed
2 Tablespoons allspice
2 Tablespoons celery seed
2 Tablespoons ground cloves
1 small box dry mustard
1 pound brown sugar
3 to 4 cups sugar
1 jar pimentos, chopped
1 small hot pepper, chopped
1/2 gallon vinegar
jars, lids, and rings
1. Cut tomatoes in halves. Sprinkle with salt. Place salted tomatoes in layers; let stand overnight.
2. Drain well. Grind tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions and cabbages coarsely (can do in food processer). Place in large kettle with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes.
4. Meanwhile prepare the Jars by cleaning and covering with boiling water. Bring to a boil, then keep hot until ready to fill.
5. Put in sterile jars and seal while still hot. Hand tighten lid.
6 . Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes to complete seal.
I love the flavor of bread and butter pickles- that sweet and sour mixture is just perfect to my taste! My favorite part is the onions, so I usually add a little more than it calls for here, but you can be flexible. Beware: an old wives tale says that the pickles will take on the personality of the person preparing them. So watch your mood- unless you like your pickles sour!
1 gallon cucumbers
8 small onions
2 green peppers (optional, but good)
½ cup salt
5 cups sugar
½ teaspoon tumeric
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
2 tablespoons whole celery seeds
5 cups vinegar (or more if needed to almost cover pickles)
6-8 pint jars, lids, and rings
1. Slice cucumbers, onions and peppers into very thin slices.
2. Cover with salt. Cover completely with cracked ice and stir.
3. Top with a weighted lid. (I put a plate on top that just fits the container and then weight it down with a heavy can, etc. on top of that.) Allow to stand for 3 hours.
4. Prepare the Jars by cleaning and covering with boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, then keep hot until ready to fill.
5. Drain cucumbers, but DO NOT RINSE.
6. Combine remaining ingredients and cook until the sugar dissolves.
7. Pour over the cucumbers, bring to a boil.
8. Put in sterile jars and seal while still hot. Hand tighten lid. No additional processing is needed.
9. Put jars upside down to cool. Any jar that does not seal should be put in the fridge for immediate use.
NOTES: Your cucumbers should be fresh. If they have been standing around too long, the pickles will have holes in them. If this happens to you, your cucumbers were not as fresh as they could have been. (You can still eat them.) Its best to pick your cucumbers as close to pickling time as possible, but do not let them get too big- you want the small to medium sized cucumbers. The large ones are all seeds.