Pickled Watermelon Rind

(courtesy of Jada McGirt, prepared foods manager, Great Basin Community Food Co-op in Reno. Fills 10 pint jars)

4 pounds watermelon rind

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups water

4 cups sugar

3 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Brine

¼ cup kosher salt

1 quart water

Pare watermelon rind and remove all pink portions. Cut rind into pieces about 1 to 2 inches thick or into ¾-inch-by-1-inch cubes. Weigh to make sure you reach 4 pounds. Soak rinds overnight in brine made by dissolving ¼ cup salt in each quart of water (make enough brine to cover). Drain rinds, rinse in fresh water, and re-drain. Combine remaining ingredients and boil together 5 minutes (spices may be tied in cheesecloth bag, if desired). Add rinds, a few at a time, and simmer about 30 minutes until rinds are clear. Pack rinds in hot, sterilized jars. Cover with boiling syrup and seal.

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