Watermelon Rind Pickles (Mom)
slaked lime (calcium hydroxide)
apple cider vinegar
Peel watermelon, removing all green and pink flesh; cut rind into cubes and measure a gallon.
Heat a large pot of boiling water; drop rind in and boil for 5 minutes.
Drain and cool.
Dissolve slaked lime in 2 quarts cold water.
Pour over rind; let stand for 4 hours.
Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Cover rind with cold water and bring to boil; boil until rind is tender and drain.
Combine 4½ cups sugar, 2 cups vinegar and 8 cups water.
Add allspice, cloves, cinnamon and ginger root (all tied in a cheesecloth bag).
Bring to boil; boil for 5 minutes.
Add rind and return to boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Leave rind standing in syrup in cool place between 12 and 24 hours.
Add 6 cups vinegar and 6 to 8 cups sugar (to taste); bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until rind is transparent and syrup is almost as thick as honey.
If syrup gets too thick before rind becomes transparent, add ½ cup hot water, a little at a time, as needed.
Pack boiling rind and syrup into hot jars and seal.
Store at least a month before serving.