"Preserving fruit is like having a little jar of the season on your shelf," says Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of Put 'Em Up! A Comprehensive Guide for the Creative Cook. "I love pickled watermelon rinds with cinnamon and cloves. They're tart, with a candied sweetness that's tasty all year long."

Makes 4 pints


1 cup salt
4 pounds watermelon rind, pink flesh and green skin removed, cut into 1" x 2" pieces
8 cups sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
5 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp. whole cloves
Zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips


In a large bowl, combine 3 quarts cold water and salt and stir to dissolve. Add watermelon rind and 8 cups ice. Let stand overnight. Drain, rinse, and drain again.

Put rind in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large nonreactive pot, combine sugar, vinegar, 4 cups water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Add rind, return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until translucent, 1 to 1½ hours.

Ladle into jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or use the boiling-water method to preserve for up to 1 year.

For boiling-water method: Ladle mixture into clean, hot pint-size canning jars, covering solids by ½" liquid. Leave ½" of space between top of jar and contents. Wipe rims clean and screw on jar bands. Immerse jars in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes more. Remove jars, set aside for 24 hours, then check seals. Store in cool, dark place for up to 1 year.


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