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Watermelon Pickles

Ingredients:

4-1/2 pounds watermelon rind
1/3 cup of pickling salt
3-1/2 cups of sugar
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
8 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp whole cloves

Preparation:

Cut the skin and the pink flesh from the rind, cut it into 1-inch squares (should produce about 9 cups), and put it in a large bowl. Mix the salt with 6 cups of water, cover the rind, and let it stand overnight. Drain the rind and rinse it under running water. Put it in a large pot and cover with water. Heat it to a gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rind is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain.

In a separate kettle, combine the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon and cloves with 1-1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil and let it cook for 10 minutes. Strain out the solids, return it to the kettle and add the rind. Bring it back to a boil, cover and boil gently until the rind is clear, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Pack the rind into hot, clean half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the jar rings and seal the lids. Process the filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and cool on racks.

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