Tanya Spacek of Lawrence, Kansas sent us these fabulous photos of her past weekends adventures in canning. Can you guess what's in the jars? It's something Southerners might recognize more easily, but across the country it has a definite cult following!
For those who guessed Watermelon Rind, you're correct!
Tanya tells us it's a long process, but a simple one that's done in 3 parts.
1. Soak, cut and peeled rind pieces, in a brine overnight.
2. The next day place them in a syrup made from vinegar, sugar and spices. Allow it to sit overnight once more.
3. The next morning, simmer the whole thing until the pieces are translucent. Strain the syrup out and add the rind to jars, packing them loosely. Add back in the strained syrup and knock out any remaining air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims, add the lips and place them in a water bath for 15 minutes. The jars seal themselves (double check after 24 hours to make sure they held) and you have a pantry stable snack for those cold winter months ahead!
If you'd like to read up more about pickling watermelon rinds like this, you'll find several variations. Some add food color (typically red or green), while others don't and some add lemons where others don't. The variables from what we can tell depend on how the recipe was passed down through different families across the country.
Here's a few places to get you started:
• National Center For Home Food Preservation
• Foodista: PIckled Watermelon Rinds
• Watermelon Rind (check the recipes on the side for other bizarre uses for your rinds, like milkshakes and deep frying it!)
Thanks Tanya and happy Fall canning to all!
Related: Cooking Basics: Very Easy Pickling
(Images: Tanya Spacek)