Friday, July 19, 2013

Watermelon Rind Sweet Pickles

I have not been exactly idle, working and hot weather notwithstanding...

About 3 years ago I read a lovely recipe for Watermelon Rind Sweet Pickles.  Having always loved these special and rather old-fashioned pickles, I decided to try my hand.  I am a pretty good cook, not afraid to try new things, and am usually satisfied with the result.  Practice makes perfect, in all things, and making pickles is no exception.  I am far from perfect, and continue to practice....

Watermelon Rind Sweet Pickles don't require the weeks of soaking in brine which is often the case with dill pickles, which cuts down on the time element.  Getting the sweet brine just right is another issue, sometimes it is too vinegary no matter what I do....a little of this and a little of that, a few more whole cloves, a little less cinnamon - and it comes out OK.

Thanks to several friends who offered me their watermelon rind (most had never heard of these pickles, but had faith in my desire to make them)

The process begins - peeling, more peeling, and slicing - 

 The first cooking bath -

Cookin' in the sweet brine...looks alot like the 1st bath, but with spices this time -

 ta da...Finished Product -
It is hard to see those little pickled squares of rind inside the jars, but they're there.  This batch is four 1/2 pints (jelly jar size) and some "left overs" which will be devoured soon enough.

The next batch awaits.  But it is just too hot to remain in the kitchen any longer today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HOT July - Summer in Idaho

So - it is HOT here in Boise, has been for several weeks...feels like years, but No, I must not complain about the heat.  I do better in hot weather than in cold, better than most folks do, fortunately, but this summer has been trying even my patience with the temps in the high 90's and 100's.  My garden is suffering, the kitties are suffering, everything seems to be melting.

Knitting has taken 2nd place of late, not only due to the heat, but due also to the fact that I have been very busy working.  I am a professional house organizer.  My business is called The Moving Diva...(long story there, how the name came about, but that is for another time.)  I love doing this sort of work, though my own house is, know the story of the cobbler's children - they had no shoes.  My house needs an organizer !  Especially my studio....knitting, quilting, weaving...and "stuff"...oh well, winter is coming, I'll do it then.

Not to say I have not been knitting however.  Stash yarn has caught my attention and has resulted in a couple of nice pieces.  A bulky weight cotton yarn has become a tee-top.  Some gorgeous non-wool blend in  my favourite colors of purple and dark green has become yet another EZ (Elizabeth Zimmerman for those not in "the know") Adult Surprise Jacket.  I am still addicted to this pattern, and this is, by right count, number 11.  What can I say, I keep finding yarn in my stash which begs to become an ASJ !

The finishing details are yet to come, but it is taking shape.  The yarn has been in my stash for many years, just waiting for me to find the perfect pattern (in truth, I had forgotten about it.)

Short post today, but as it has been a while, I was called to at least stay in touch.