The two Rachels ("little", our daughter, currently near six feet, and "big", her godmother, a terrific cook and overall foodie), Elaine, Liz, and Tom put in a couple of sessions this weekend on watermelon rind pickles. Tom apparently peeled a whole watermelon (is there a prize for largest naked melon?), and, when I got home from the hospital the kitchen was pungent with gingery smells, the countertop lined with jars being filled with crunchy relish and pale gold syrup.
Watermelon pickles are a bit weird--crunchy, sweet-sour, more on the sweet side. My personal best pairing was at Cochon in New Orleans, where their pickles (not as good as ours, either!) were a perfect complement to small servings of thin-sliced country ham.
The pickles are made from the white rind, so the green skin and red insides have to go. Somewhere. Tom took the cut-up "meat" to the ice-cream booth at our local Scottsboro barbecue (the 53rd annual!) to give away. The skin, I would guess, went to the "boys", Tom's worms on the compost heap.
Leftover syrup, with sugar and vinegar, cinnamon, and nearly-candied sliced lemons went, a little bit at a time, into the weekend's iced tea--much appreciated by those of us slapping mosquitoes as we sorted butternut squash under the shed yesterday!
The lemon slices wound up scattered across the lemon bars that I made for dinner last night.
Good to the last drop. Though I thinkwe might not see the last drop of this round of pickle-making for a long time.