This information has been reviewed and adapted for use in South Carolina by P.H. Schmutz, HGIC Food Safety Specialist, J.E. Campbell, graduate student; and E.H. Hoyle, Extension Food Safety Specialist, Clemson University. (New 10/01. Revised 2/05.)
(About 4 or 5 pints)
Pare rind and all pink edges from the watermelon (need 3 quarts or about 6 pounds). Cut into 1-inch squares or fancy shapes as desired. Cover with brine made by mixing ¾ cup salt with 3 quarts cold water. Add 2 quarts (2 trays) of ice cubes. Let stand 3 to 4 hours. Drain; rinse in cold water. Cover with cold water and cook until fork tender for about 10 minutes (do not overcook). Drain. Combine 9 cups sugar, 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon whole cloves and 6 cinnamon sticks. (Spices should be tied in a clean, thin, white cloth.) Boil 5 minutes and pour over the watermelon; add 1 thinly sliced lemon. Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat watermelon in syrup to boiling and cook slowly 1 hour. Pack hot pickles loosely into clean, hot pint jars. To each jar, add a 1-inch piece of stick cinnamon from spice bag; cover with boiling syrup to ½ inch from top. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath at altitudes up to 1,000 feet. At altitudes between 1,001 and 6,000 feet, process for 15 minutes.
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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.