Watermelon Weekend

Friends and followers, sorry it’s been so long! I get so hyped about blogging and then within a week I have completely lost my motivation to write. It happens. Even though I haven’t been updating you regularly I have been up to a lot. I won’t share it all in this post though, that would be a little much.Instead I’m going to fill you in on our weekend watermelon journey! We don’t have any pretty pictures, this is going to be wordy. You’ve been warned.

This weekend Josh and I went to one of our local farmers markets to grab some produce to hold us over. We decided to grab a big watermelon because we were craving some watermelon margaritas. It would have been easy to just grab the small seedless melons they offered. No fuss, no extra melon to worry about, but no. We grabbed one of the big ones($5.99), no idea how big it was but I can tell you we had 9 pounds of rind so you know it was a decent size.

We decided on fish tacos and watermelon margaritas for dinner that night so we made quick work out of half of the melon. We cut out all of the watermelon from one half of the rind and put it in a large bowl. From there we blended it up with an immersion blender and then strained out the seed bits through several layers of cheese cloth over a pitcher. Nothing too difficult just takes a bit of time and patience. That gave us two decent sized pitchers of watermelon juice, no we didn’t drink that all in one night.

IMG_2403.JPGNow what to do with the other half, and could we actually use the rind? Of course we can! I had read about pickled watermelon rind shortly before this and decided that’s what we will do. So we got to work peeling and dicing and let it soak overnight. The canning process for this was pretty IMG_2404easy and we didn’t even make a mess this time. We doubled the recipe and ended up with 12 jars of varying sizes. I believe it broke down to 8 pints and 4 half pints. The best part is, Josh isn’t even a fan of pickled things! We had hoped that since these were a much sweeter version he may be into them, not so much. On a semi-related note, does anyone else feel like a mad scientist while canning?? Please tell me I’m not alone.

We still had half of a watermelon to deal with at this point, and oddly enough we aren’t fans of just eating watermelon. I know that’s probably a little peculiar. We like it, but we just don’t feel the urge to sit down with a large slice. We decided to dehydrate it and make “Watermelon jerky”. Just slice it up but not too thin, watermelon is mostly water so it will be significantly smaller when you take it out. We set our dehydrator to 135 Fahrenheit and it ended up taking around 24 hours for it to dry. This was our first go round with putting watermelon in the dehydrator, but it probably wont be our last. We always end up with a ton of heavy carb-loaded snacks in our pantry. Chips, crackers, you name it. Its nice to have something naturally sweet and light to eat. Don’t get me wrong though, this is SWEET! The dehydrating process really brings forth the sugars in the fruit. This tastes like the most natural form of watermelon candy.

So for $5.99 we had watermelon to put to use three different ways. Do you have any favorite ways to use watermelon, other than just eating it?

Click here for Pickled Watermelon Rind recipe!

 

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