What happens when you get vinegar in your ear?

You suffer from pickled hearing.

Yeah? Right?!

I know, fantastic. Where do I come up with these things.

What do I have in store for you today? Well, something interesting, that’s for sure.

I have been watching a lot of Food Network’s Chopped. I love that show. It’s ridiculous. I am astounded by the creativity of the chefs on Chopped. In case you aren’t aware of the show, 4 chefs are give a mystery basket of ingredients and then have a limited amount of time to come up with a recipe that incorporates all of those ingredients into a complete dish. And the ingredients, quite often, make no (immediate) sense.

During one of these episodes, one of the ingredients was picked watermelon rind.

Being a Northern Yankee, at first I was like…Wha–And then I was like…what the hell are they going to do with that?!

The WTF quickly morphed into: I wonder what that tastes like. That then became: I bet I could make that.

But, as with many late-night, hare-brained schemes, I quickly forgot about it once the t.v. was turned off. But, then fate turned it around. I had taken out this awesome book about how and why recipes work and one of the recipes was for instant pickled watermelon rind. Then my mom bought a HUGE watermelon.

I saluted the universe, ate some watermelon to get the rind, and attempted the recipe.

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This recipe is for Instant watermelon rind pickles. This means that you don’t process them in the same way you would when making regular pickles. The flavors develop in the refrigerator, and you don’t have to can them in the same way as regular cucumber pickles. But that also means they don’t last as long; only about 2 weeks or so.

Anyway, they came out pretty great. They are definitely an acquired taste, but I’m glad I tried them. I hope you enjoy them, too!

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Instant Watermelon Rind Pickles
Adapted from Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work, by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot

Ingredients

1/4 c + 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 c + 1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 c + 1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp gin (optional)
1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
18 oz diced watermelon rind, green skin removed (A little pink flesh is ok)

Method

  1. Clean and sterilize your lidded jars. Once clean, allow them to dry completely. Set aside.
  2. Dive your watermelon rind, making sure to remove the green skin.
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  3. Mix the rice wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, gin, and salt together until the honey is dissolved.
  4. Place the diced watermelon rind and the liquid into your clean and sterilized lidded jars.
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  5. Refrigerate, and age the rind for at least 3 days before eating. The concoction get better the longer it sits. Enjoy.
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