Watermelon Jam! 9-19-12

This is the last batch of watermelon jam until next summer when i have a new crop.  it’s more of a pain to make than other jams because not only do all the seeds need to be removed, but it’s so liquidy to begin with, that it takes more to thicken into a jam consistency than other fruits.  When it stops running off the spoon and is at a spreadable texture it’s ready, but that takes a long time.

The secret to an awesome watermelon jam is getting the temp of the boiling pureed melon to a temp of 220 F.  And even though i’ve seen lots of recipes, i’ve had to create my own because most watermelon jam recipes make a truly terrible jam.  With 9 cups of pureed watermelon, your going to wanna add a whole 7 to 8 cups of sugar.  Don’t skimp on that. Also, a tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of puree.  i start with one tablespoon of pectin for every cup of puree, then add more from there, testing the consistency until it’s jammy feeling.   Do that by putting a bit in the freezer in a ramekin until cooled and testing the thickness.  By the time it’s ready to ladle into jars, the house smells like a big fat watermelon jolly rancher.

Waste not, want not.  i’m also attempting these apparently southern favorite goodies, pickled watermelon rind.  Might as well put what i’d normally compost to use.  Sorry to offend you lovers of the rind, but this just doesn’t sound appetizing at all.  However, i won’t shun it completely until i try it.  So i’ve looked up recipes and tweeked them Lindy-style.  Now these rinds are soaking in pickling salt over night.  So tomorrow i’ll get to the rest of my adventure with watermelon rind pickling (seriously?  eew).

Anyways, while i’m trying to get the jam to 220 F (it wants to stay at 190 degrees forever), we’re working in the garden.  i finally got some more winter squash and pumpkin seeds.

 The ones i had started a month ago after that bout of amazing weather and lots of rain, i had some great looking winter squash and pumpkins, which died immediately upon impact of the brutal weeks of heat following the rain.   The little one on the left is about dead, and every last spaghetti squash in a raised bed out front is completely gone.  Now i must start again from scratch.  Sucks!  But it’s not too late to get them germinated and ready to harvest before our first frost here in zone 8.

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts. ~ Henry Brooks Adams

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