I never heard of anyone asking for watermelon recipes when I was young. Most felt like I did that there was never enough "fresh watermelon" for our satisfaction. Who would want recipes to take any away from us eating? Even though Dad came in with two at a time, it seemed they were gone in no time at all. Back then we had the big watermelons, not the little seedless ones you see today. We never had any seedless ones at all and I still think the flavor of those cannot compare with our old fashion ones.
Dad knew how to pick out the melons which were perfectly ripened and sweet. They were so good that as kids we would try to get as much from the slice as possible. Mom used to get after us for eating too much of the white rind saying, "You will get a stomachache".
My Uncle Nevin, Dad's only sibling, had a dairy farm. Every Saturday was our visiting day at Uncle Nevin's farm. In the milk house, ice cold running water kept the fresh milk cold until the milk truck came to pick it up. My uncle would always find space to ice down a watermelon during the hot summer when the melons ripened. It was our treat to get a slice of the cold melon while we were there. Of course, we had to eat it outside so we could spit out the seeds.
No matter who's house you ate watermelon, the kids always ate it outside. Sometimes the adults did also, especially if you had company. They would pull yard chairs together, maybe in a circle, eat watermelon and talk. Sometimes in the Spring we would get a surprise as watermelon vines started to pop up out of the ground. We would remember all of us eating watermelon and discarding the seeds in the center of the gathered chairs. Now they were growing vines.
As I got older, I started hearing a lot of women were making watermelon rind pickles. That sounded interesting and it would utilize the watermelon rind without taking the delicious red part of the melon. Since then, I have seen recipes for jams and other things that I figured would let you enjoy some of the delicious watermelon flavor, even in the cold winter. Even though I do not have an abundance of recipes like everything else, here are some good ones.
This is a way to enjoy watermelon recipes in the cold winter on hot biscuits, on pancakes or on toast.
Place watermelon in a strainer; let it drain about 1 hour.
Place watermelon and sugar in pot and cook over medium about 30 minutes.
Stir frequently to keep from sticking and sugar dissolves.
Stir in gelatin; put in sterilized jars and seal.
Watermelon recipes more often use the rind like with canning sweet rinds to be used in fruit cakes or cookies.
Cook sugar and water over medium to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Place watermelon rind in hot sterilized jars; pour hot syrup over top leaving headspace.
Adjust lids; place in hot water bath for 30 minutes.
Some watermelon recipes are made by using the rind in jams and preserves.
Soak the melon rind in the salt solution overnight.
Drain the melon rind; place in pot and cover with fresh water.
Add the alum; Bring to a full boil; drain.
Place sugar, 8 cups water and lemon slices in pot.
Add watermelon rind and choice of spice; boil slowly until tender.
Pack in hot sterilized jars and seal at once.
Most of my watermelon recipes are for pickles.
Soak rinds in cold water overnight; cook in soaking water until tender (not soft).
Drain the rinds; place on clean towels to drain thoroughly.
Make a syrup with the sugar and vinegar; boil until it thickens.
Add the drained rinds to the syrup; bring to a boil and let set off heat overnight.
REPEAT FOR THE NEXT THREE DAYS:
Drain syrup off the rinds and reheat syrup; add rinds and bring to a boil.
Let pickles stand overnight and repeat 2 more days.
Seal hot pickles in hot sterilized jars.
Cover rind with hot water; boil until it can be pierced with a fork.
NOTE: Rind should be slightly transparent.
Mix together the sugar, vinegar and oils; drain rind and pour mixture over top.
Let mixture stand overnight.
Next morning drain the syrup off rind; heat syrup to a boil.
Pour syrup over the rind and let stand overnight again.
ON THIRD DAY reheat rind and syrup together to boil; pack in sterilized jars.
NOTE: 7 Pounds watermelon rind is about 1medium to large watermelon.
Someone gave me a torn page (looks like a book page) years ago which included these 2 watermelon recipes. Each recipe uses 1 large watermelon (about 25 pounds). People love the punch but also interesting because the watermelon shell serves as a punch bowl.
PREPARE WATERMELON FOR BOTH RECIPES:
In the top of the watermelon cut an 8 inch oval section (Lid) making a sawtooth edge.
Remove the cut portion (LID) and save; remove all red pulp to another bowl (Remove seeds).
Process 1/4 of the pulp at a time to a puree and place in the watermelon shell.
NOTE: Should have about 12 cups puree; FINISH THE RECIPES BELOW.
WINE WATERMELON PUNCH
Place the melon with pulp on a tray; stir in the wine and Kirsch.
Cover with the LID and refrigerate overnight.
LEMON WATERMELON PUNCH
Place melon shell with pulp on a tray; stir in water, lemonade and grenadine.
Cover with LID; refrigerate overnight.
BEFORE SERVING remove LID and pour in beverage to fill 3/4 full.
Stir with UP DOWN motion; serve.
All watermelon recipes are delicious throughout the warm summer months but this one is really tasty.
In a large bowl dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water; cool to room temperature.
Whisk the whipped topping into the cooled gelatin mixture; fold in the watermelon.
Spoon into crust and refrigerate 2 hours or until set; serves 6 to 8.
Force red ripe watermelon through a fine strainer. You can also juice other ripe melons such as cantaloupe or honey dew. Children love these mild cold juices in the hot summer months.