The Amish are known for a few things: their no-tech lifestyle, sustainability, and their amazing recipes. The Amish simplistic lifestyle is combined with their need to be more self-sufficient. This is due to their belief in God.
The Amish are a religious community who look towards a bishop as to what rules they follow. Unlike their counterparts, Mennonites, Amish are typically unable to use electricity, cars, and most other conveniences that we are accustomed to in the modern era.
By using canning techniques, they are best able to store their food long-term, which is really important when you do not have a fridge to turn to! Amish communities live off the land. Because they have a lot of kids, preserving food is a must to ensure that everyone eats as well.
Their lifestyle can show us ‘English’ that it is truly possible to live a life without modern conveniences and to use everything that is available.
Watermelon rind pickles are just that. These sweet and salty pickles make a fantastic addition to salads, and sandwiches, or even eaten as a refreshing snack.
Now, let’s get to the recipe.
Here’s What You Need:
- 1 medium-sized ripe watermelon rind with the green peel taken off
- 1 cup salt
- 6 cups sugar
- 4 cups vinegar (I used white, but apple cider vinegar would be great too)
- 3 tablespoon pickling spices or spices of your choice
- pint canning jars
- canning pot
- quart sauce pot
- mixing bowl
Step 1: Slice your watermelon into 1 inch cubes. Leave some of the red flesh on these. Cut off the green shell and place your rinds into a mixing bowl.
Add in your salt and cover until the top of the watermelon rind is covered with water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Step 2: While your rind is soaking inside the salt brine, it is time to make a sweet brine. Mix your sugar, spices, and vinegar into your quart saucepan. Bring this to a boil.
If you do not want whole spices inside your pickle brine, strain these out.
Step 3: Take your canning jars and lids and disinfect them by putting them into your canning pot and boiling them. This is very important to help prevent botulism.
Step 4: Drain your watermelon rinds and put them to the side. If you soaked the rinds overnight, rinse with cold water.
Step 5: Take these jars out of the water after being boiled for 10 minutes. This allows the proper time to have any bacteria killed. Pack these jars with your watermelon rinds and then add your brine in.
You should allow your canning jar to have appropriate headspace. For watermelon pickles, a ½ inch headspace is the proper space.
Wipe around the rim to make sure that your jars will seal properly, which is essential to shelf life! Place lids onto your filled canning jars and then twist your ring on.
Step 6: Place your filled cans inside your waterbath; the water should cover the tops of the jars. Process these at a simmer for 10 minutes. It is important to not let the jars touch during this process or they will not seal properly.
Once finished pull your finished jars out of your pot. Do not move them too much during the first 24 hours to allow for your jars to seal properly.
Step 7: Allow to cool overnight. Within 24 hours, your jars should be sealed. These pickles are shelf stable for at least a year. The longer your pickles sit in the brine, the better they will taste.
Some of the spices you can use are endless. I used a basic premade pickling spice blend; however, you could use any of the following: ginger, peppercorn, cinnamon, bay leaves. mustard seed, fennel, coriander.
There are many others as well. But considering that this is a sweet pickle recipe, I tend to lean more towards the warmer flavors like ginger.
I ended up having extra brine, which I took and made pickled onions. The brine turned out to be a sweet and flavorful brine. I used the onions on chicken tacos and the watermelon rind in a nice chicken salad. The mixture of sweet and spice was a wonderful addition.
The Importance Of Food Canning
Canning safely is important. Knowing how to have safe food is what the Amish do best. When the S.H.T.F, they will not need help from others to sustain themselves, so as preppers, we should look towards them to ensure that we are ready for not if but when something happens.
Another benefit of having a nice variety of foods inside your stockpile is being able to make far more recipes than a select few.
There are many ways of ensuring that your shelf life lasts far longer. Make sure you remove the ring from your jar when storing it. While it may seem counterproductive, removing the ring is essential to ensuring that your jar seal is not false.
Another important consideration is that your jars should be stored in a cool dry place. Rotate your stock pile often to preserve freshness as well.
The number one way to make sure you have the best storage for canning is to make sure you can your food correctly. Improperly canned foods will degrade in nutrients faster and even go rancid.
By having a stockpile, you are creating for sustainability for yourself and your family! Using things like watermelon rinds is a way to use food that would otherwise be wasted. I even took the skins from the rinds and fed them to our chickens, making this recipe waste free.