2 pounds watermelon rind
1/4 cup pickling salt
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp. broken stick cinnamon
1.5 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
5 maraschino cherries, halved (opt.)
Trim the dark green and the pink parts off the rind. Cut rind into 1 inch cubes to measure 7 cups. Soak rind overnight in a solution of pickling salt and water. (If it takes more to cover, use same proportion salt to water.) Drain; rinse watermelon rind. Cover rind with cold water. Cook just until tender.
Meanwhile, in a 6 to 8 quart pot combine sugar, white vinegar, stick cinnamon, whole cloves and 1 cup water. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes, then strain. Add drained watermelon rind, lemon slices and maraschino cherries, if desired. Simmer the mixture until watermelon rind is clear.
Fill hot, clean pint jars with rind and syrup mixture, leaving 1/2 inch headspace in the jars. Adjust the lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Makes 2 to 3 pints. Enjoy! -Diana