Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hoo are you? Gotta love Tuesdays

Here are this week's questions!

1. What are your favorite 3 things about fall?
I love the cooler temps.  I live in TX so cooler means high in the 80's but I am thrilled to have it.  I also enjoy getting back to the routine of it fall. With school starting and football practice I get into a routine and I love to have a regular routine.  The best part about fall is the coming holidays.  I love Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!! 
2. Are you a football fan and if so who is your favorite team?
I love football.  I graduated from Permian High School (yes, the Friday night lights school) so football is kinda a big deal.  I love to watch my son play the most.  He is only in pee wee football, but I love it.  I guess my favorite team is "Da Bears".  Well for now.  I tend to pick favorite players and follow them.  I know I am weird.  LOL

3. What is your favorite fall scent?
Pumpkin pie spice.  MMMMMM Yay for fall!
4. So you have seasonal allergies?
Yes Yes Yes!  I am stuffed up this morning and will be for the next few months. 
5. Have you started Christmas shopping yet?
LOL I start in Jan.  I am one of those crazy people.  I look for Christmas gifts all year round.  I love to give the "perfect" gift not just a gift, and that just takes time.  ;)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pickled Watermelon what???

Periodically my Dad dreams up something he remembers fondly from his childhood.  Sometimes we don't really believe his whole story (like that his grandmother making a WHOLE LAUNDRY BASKET FULL of sugar cookies), but he can usually talk me into most things.  It's only fair since I drag him into all sorts of crazy projects all the time.  :)  So when I told him I was going to make Watermelon Jelly, he began telling me how much he missed pickled watermelon rinds.  I was secretly grossed out, but I got on the ole computer and googled a recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rinds.  I was amazed to find tons of different recipes.  I decided this one sounded like one I thought I could handle.  Recipe Here

I am still not convinced I want to eat it, but I think they turned out ok.  They look pretty in the jar anyway.  LOL  So here is all the how to info. 

First gather the ingredients.

2 pounds prepared watermelon rind
1 teaspoon pickle crisp granules
4 cups clear, distilled vinegar
1 cup water
5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon whole cloves
6 small pieces cinnamon stick

Then you start to prepare the rind.

Remove the rind from the meat.

 Make sure it is clean of all the red.

Then peel the green.
I found a knife worked best.

Cover with cold water and boil for one hour or until tender.  Then drain.  Cover with one cup vinegar and two cups water and let stand overnight.

Then you drain it again, and prepare the syrup.  You add the remaining vinegar, spices and sugars into a pan and bring to a simmer.   Then cover for one hour.  It didn't say to put the spices in cheesecloth, but I think it would be a good idea.  I got the impression you needed to remove them after they steep for one hour.  So I did. 

Add drained rind and syrup.  Then you allow it to gently cook for two hours.  This gives the syrup a chance to thicken.  Then you can pour the mixture into the jars. 

The original recipe called for pickling lime, but I couldn't find that anywhere in town.  I did find Ball's Pickle Crisp Granules.  It is to be used as a substitute for pickling lime.  You add 1/4 tsp of it to each jar.  Easy peasy.  Then you put the pickled rind into the jars, and seal them. 
Finally you want to put them in a water bath for 15 minutes.

I was reusing some jars so please forgive the lovely lids.  LOL

When you are all done you end up with this.  I really think they look good.  I just may have to give them a taste... well when they finally cool off enough to eat.  :)

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Watermelon Jelly

While browsing around Pinterest I found a recipie for Watermelon Jelly.  I just had to try it.  Of course I have pinned about a million things I want to try, but this one just stayed on my mind.  So when my brother came to visit on Labor Day weekend and brought this HUGE (it weighed 40 lbs. I checked) watermelon I asked him if I could use some to make jelly.  I pulled up the website's recipie.  Here is the link, and got right to work.

First you need to gather your ingredients. 
6 C. pureeded Watermelon
5C. white sugar
1/2 C bottled or fresh lemon juice
1 pkg Pectin

Then I began to cut up the watermelon.  It was HUGE so there was plenty to go around.  I went ahead and doubled it. 

It is important to remove all the seeds and then I just put the pieces in the blender and let it go.  As it finished I measured it out into a large pot.

Then you add sugar and lemon juice.  It looks so pretty and has a kind of foam on top to start with.  Then you are to bring it to a boil.  Once my pot got close to boiling I nocticed a definate problem.  The pan was not going to be big enough.  Uh oh.  So I switched to my HUGE stock pot. 

It still boiled up pretty high in there.  Once the temperature gets to 220 degrees you can add the pectin.  Then it continues to boil for another five minutes.  I would let it go longer.  I had trouble with it thickening up so I had to put it on to boil again and so did the original poster. 

Remove from heat and pour into clean, steril jars and then you can use a water bath to seal.  I just made sure they cooled and put them in the fridge.  I know they won't last as long but that is never a problem here.  ;)   It's one of the perks of having three GROWING boys. 

When you are all finished you have these beautiful jars of jelly.  I had various sizes but there were roughly 9 8oz. jars when I finished.  Of course remember I doubled the recipie.  If you decide to give it a try I would love to know.  It is very good.  Tastes just like watermelon.  :)

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