Pickled Watermelon Rind: My First Canning

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As do many of my kitchen experiments, this one started with a request on Facebook. I needed canning jars, because I had a ton of watermelon rind and wanted to try pickling. It turned into a happy hour canning session and I liked the results.

I asked my Facebook friends, "Does anyone have some canning jars I could borrow? In return, you will receive your jar back, with pickled watermelon rind in it. It may not taste very good, as this is my first attempt. Also, they will be refrigerator pickled, not officially canned or anything. I want to do this project tonight, so I will be happy to come to your house and pick up the jars. Or jar."

I got plenty of responses, my favorite from a fellow local food writer, April, who just happened to have plenty of mason jars. My other favorite was from a friend who just happens to be a certified canning coach. Who knew?

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The ladies arrived in the late afternoon, sipping beer while I finished peeling and chopping the rinds. We more or less used this recipe from Kitchen Riffs. Mary talked us through the quick version of canning, and talked me into taking a class from her, which I'll be doing very soon, because I'm hooked!

After Mary left, April and I finished up, amazed at how quick and painless the process had been. As we were chatting, we heard a "POP" as one of the jars sealed. Mary had told us this might happen, but we were thrilled, nonetheless.

I'm not quite sure what to do with my pickled watermelon rind, but I'm thinking it would be a nice addition to burgers, a falafel sandwich or fish. So far, the best thing I've done with it was make a blackberry and lemon cocktail. I muddled some blackberries with lemon juice, added a slug of vodka, strained it into a glass and added a splash of club soda and the watermelon rind garnish. Delicious! (It was also good without alcohol.)

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Any ideas on what else I can do with my watermelon rind? I have plenty!

(Images: Anne Postic)

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Anne Postic writes about cooking for her family on The Kitchn. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and three very handsome sons. She loves talking cooking, travel, parenting and art, though not necessarily in that order.