Cinnamon watermelon pickles

Cinnamon watermelon pickles

Memories from childhood include cinnamon watermelon pickles.  The square, sweet and tangy pickles tasted like nirvana to me when my mom made the first batch I remember from my childhood days growing up in Kansas.  This last week, I saved the rind from a small, seedless watermelon purchased at Fiesta grocery store on 8th Avenue in the Fort. Around the World takes 80 days? Not at Fiesta Mart. I can find fresh veggies and fruits, unique ingredients, hard to find sauces and condiments at a reasonable price and more from around the world. As I walk through the aisles, I will find items from all corners of the globe and you gotta love their mascot, Pepe the Parrot.  The store has joined the Blue Zone Movement in the Fort so another reason, your health, to stop in and check out their offerings.

Back to pickles…

watermelon with salt
How they look after spending the night with Mr. Salt in the refrigerator

First step is to cut off the green rind leaving behind the white and a little bit of the red flesh of the watermelon.  Place in a pot, add kosher salt and ice and place the mixture in refrigerator for one night (same step as making Bread and Butter Pickles). Remove in the morning from refrigerator and rinse and drain.  Next step is to place the pot on a burner on medium, add 2 cups of cool water and bring to a boil   Then add 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of cider vinegar and several cinnamon sticks (you can get these at Fiesta on the cheap).  Boil for 30 – 45 minutes.  Warn inhabitants that hate the smell of vinegar to vacate the premises.

jars ready for canning
Don’t you love all the colors offered now? In FW, we have purple ones in honor of the TCU frogs!

Prepare your canning jars by washing them in hot and soapy water, then drain and wipe dry.  Bring a large pasta pan full of H20 to boiling (I don’t own special canning equipment but this works for me as i only can a couple of jars at a time).

Boil for no more than an hour.

Fill the jars with the hot cinnamon pickle milieu, making sure the pickles are covered at the top with some of the vinegar mixture. Place the jars in the pasta basket and submerge into the boiling water for 30-45 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool. Place in a cool pantry for a couple of weeks before opening.  Cinnamon watermelon pickles are a great addition to pork dishes or with Thai food.  They are not spicy, just cool and sweet,  so they add a perfect accompaniment to any spicy main dish.  If you don’t want to make these from scratch, look for these pickles at local farmer’s markets and I think Whole Foods sells a variety from the Bryan Family.

When I eat Tracy’s pickles,
They make me scrunch my nose.
They make me flap my eyelids.
They make me curl my toes.

When I eat Tracy’s pickles,
My ears turn fiery red,
And drops of perspiration
Start dripping from my head.

When I eat Tracy’s  pickles,
I fall down on the floor,
And then I say through puckered lips,
“Cn I pls hv sm mr?”

(modified from poem written by Marileta Robinson).


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