Sunday, July 14, 2013

Candied Watermelon Rind (Preserving the Harvest this #SundaySupper)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm cheap. I can't bear to throw anything away if there's even the slightest chance it can be used by someone. I donate old clothes, books, toys and any unopened, unexpired food that I know my family isn't about to eat anytime soon - and thanks to the facility that's down the street from me that distributes goods to food banks, I can even give them my excess produce from the garden each year. But some things you can't give away, and are usually treated as garbage by both rich and poor. Things like watermelon rinds, of which I took 2 melons' worth home after the school had their end-of-the-year picnic. I had to de-rind the pieces for the toddlers and infants anyways, and couldn't believe there wasn't something tasty that could be done.

And lo and behold, that often-tossed rind from the favourite Summer BBQ fruit not only makes tasty pickles, but it has a host of other uses too! I definitely ran the gamut with my uses (and I'll be sharing them with you!), but I think my favourite find was this recipe from Not Quite Nigella. Now, Lorraine
calls this Macedonian combination of spices, sugar and melon rind a "jam", or "slatko"... but there's enough sugar in this sucker that it's really a form of candy (much like candied ginger in syrup). I deviated a little bit from the original flavourings, favouring cardamom pods and Szechuan peppercorns for an exotic, slightly floral experience. I didn't know what to expect, but what I got was a truly unique, addictive sweet treat - not only was it perfect to eat out of the jar (I wound up making two batches, but only canning one because of our sticky fingers!), but I'm definitely going to use it in baking like candied ginger too!

This #SundaySupper is all about keeping our summer harvests for as long as we can - whether  canning, freezing, drying or curing! This event is being hosted by Heather at Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, and looks to be a bevy of delicious offerings as always!!

Cool Condiments:
Chow Chow Relish from Magnolia Days
Homemade Hot Dog Relish from Juanita's Cocina

Fabulous Fruits:
Apricot Ginger Jam from Happy Baking Days
Banana Jam from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream from Gotta Get Baked 
Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam from Daily Dish Recipes
Candied Watermelon Rind from What Smells So Good?
Fig and Strawberry Jam from Jane's Adventures in Dinner
Mixed Berry Rhubarb Jam from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Mulberry Jam from Curious Cuisiniere 
Quick Peacharine Chutney from Shockingly Delicious
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam from Cookin' Mimi
Strawberry Butter from The Urban Mrs

Other Outstanding Recipes:
Fireweed Jelly from The Foodie Army Wife 
Flavoured Butters from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Gravlax from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Vivacious Vegetables:
Corn Cob Jelly from Blueberries and Blessings
Deep South Dilly Beans from Eat, Move, Shine
Fermented (Sour) Pickles from Growing Up Gabel 
Fire Roasted Salsa from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Hot and Spicy Giardiniera from The Messy Baker
Hot Italian Giardiniera from Healthy. Delicious.
JalapeƱos en Escabeche (Pickled JalapeƱos) from La Cocina de Leslie
Oi Kimchi (Korean Cucumber Kimchi) from kimchi MOM
Refrigerator Dill Pickles from Country Girl in the Village
Spicy Sweet Tomato Chutney from Food Lust People Love
Traditional Escabeche (Pickle) from Basic N Delicious

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Simply follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat - and get your friends involved too! Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Candied Watermelon Rind
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella
Makes about 2 cups, 32 servings
4 cups watermelon rind, green parts peeled off and remainder diced (23.2 oz by weight prepared)
2 cups sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
8 whole green cardamom pods
6 Szechuan peppercorns, cracked
  1. Place watermelon rind in a deep pot and add the sugar. 
  2. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight (at least 4 hours) to macerate. 
  3. In the morning, bring to a simmer, stirring to thoroughly dissolve the sugar. 
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours (cubes will be translucent when done). 
  5. Uncover and bring to a boil. 
  6. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring often, to reduce the syrup to a thick caramel-like liquid. 
  7. While still hot, ladle into sterilized jars and process in a waterbath for 30 minutes (the original calls for turning the jars upside down for a minute to create a seal but to correlate with the US safety guidelines I suggest waterbath canning for shelf-storage. If you’re keeping it in the fridge, skip this part!). 
NI includes all the syrup, although you won't eat it all.

Amount Per Serving (1 generous tbsp)
Calories: 51.9
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.4 mg
Total Carbs: 13.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.4 g

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