Ideas for Southern Style Picnic and Recipe for Watermelon Rind Pickles... please
Having a bridal shower for about 60 in a couple of weeks. I'm looking what ideas for dishes I can serve cold or room temperature which have a southern flavour.
Also looking for a recipe for Watermelon Rind pickles.
There seems to be some question whether to keep the skin on or not. Any opinions?
Thanks so much.
You don't have enough time to make your own watermelon pickles. After making and processing they need to sit 4-6 months to develop full flavor. Old South is a good store brand.
But for 5 lbs or thick rind, and it does need to be thick, remove the green skin with a sharp peeler. Then cut the rind up into 1"-2" squares. Pur the rind pieces in a large ketle and boil until tender but not soft.
Make a syrup of 5 lbs. sugar, 2.5 pints of vinegar, 1 oz. sliced fresh ginger, a couple of sticks of cinnamon and an oz. of whole cloves. Boit until it thickens then add drained rind and bring to a boil. Remove from the het, cover and let stand until cooled. Then drain off the syrup and pack the rind into sterilized hot jars. Bring the syrup back to a boil and pour over the peel. Seal in a hotwater bath and when sealed and cooled. Allow to age several months.
For an alternative, here is a quick pickled watermelon recipe from Michelle Bernstein, a well-known Miami chef.
3 cups seedless watermelon flesh, cut into 1 by 1 1/2in pieces
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp fennel seed
1/8 tsp pink peppercorns
1/8 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Place the watermelon in a shallow bowl. In a med saucepan over medium heat, combine a 1/4 cup water with the vinegar, sugar, fennel seed, peppercorns and bay leaf. Heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, then strain the liquid over the watermelon. Chill for 20 minutes, then drain and keep cold until ready to serve. You can keep the drained watermelon in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
Note that this uses the flesh and not the rind.
My favorite southern cookbook is "The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks" by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
Loads of lovely southern recipes.... For a bridal shower, I would think about Miss Lewis' chicken salad in toast cups, cheese straws, chilled or congealed salads, cobblers or pies, variety of pickles and preserves, and sweet tea! For future reference, the "Ball Blue Book" is the must-have reference for home canning, pickles, preserves, etc.