Watermelon-Rind Pickles

In the first cookbook written by an American, Amelia Simmons made preserves out of a whole watermelon ("seeds excepted") and also pickled the rind of green melons. By the time Sidney Dean, a fellow Yankee, wrote Cooking American in 1957, watermelon-rind pickles had carved a special, almost emblematic niche in our food culture. As he said, "This is perhaps the richest and most luscious of all fruit pickles, really a conserve. To me it is incomparable, and my mother made it every year. It is certainly cooking American; what could be more American than our national favorite, the watermelon?"
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