Preserving watermelon

Recipe Finder

July 06, 2005|By Julie Rothman | Julie Rothman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Lily Mae Romans of Baltimore remembers that when she was a child her mother used to save the watermelon rind and make preserves out of it. She used to have her mother's recipe but has lost it.

Beth Edelstein from Timonium had several recipes in her collection for these preserves, even one that first appeared in The Sun in the '30s. She uses a recipe taken from the Southern Heritage Gift Recipes Cookbook, published in 1985. She says that these wonderful preserves are "great with ham and turnip greens and a must with fried okra and hot biscuits."

If the sealing process seems too daunting, this sweet and spicy condiment will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks in regular jars.

Watermelon Preserves

Makes 6 half-pint jars 6 cups watermelon rind

4 tablespoons salt

2 quarts water, plus more for soaking and cooking

1 tablespoon ground ginger

4 cups sugar

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

7 cups water

1 lemon

Trim the green skin and pink pulp from watermelon rind. Cut the trimmed rind into 1-inch squares and measure out 6 cups. Dissolve the salt in 2 quarts of cold water and soak the melon rind overnight.

Drain the rind and rinse well, then add water just to cover and let stand for 30 minutes; drain again. Sprinkle the rind with ginger, place it in a pot and cover with water and simmer uncovered until tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the rind and set aside.

Boil the sugar, lemon juice and 7 cups of water in a preserving kettle for 5 minutes. Slice the lemon wafer-thin and discard seeds. Put the lemon slices, melon rind and syrup in a pot and boil mixture until rind is clear and transparent, about 25 minutes. Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint jars and seal immediately.

Recipe requests

Kaye Goble from Salisbury, N.C., is looking for a recipe for Mango Ice Tea.

Barbara Berndt of Pinehurst, N.C., is looking for a recipe for baked custard made with Eggbeaters, instead of real eggs.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a recipe, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, put each on a separate piece of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number.

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