OLD SOUTHERN WATERMELON RIND PRESERVES
6 cups watermelon rind, diced 4 1/2 cups sugar 1 lemon, sliced thinly, then seeded 1 teaspoon allspice (optional)
Peel green skin off the watermelon, but leave a little of the red pulp on rind. Cut into 1-inch slices, then slice into 1-inch cubes. Place rind in a large pot and cover with the sugar. (Bavilacqua's mother always said to cover it until the fruit doesn't show.) Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight. This draws out the juices.. Place pot on stove and add lemon slices and allspice, if desired. Boil whole mixture until rind is clear, about 2 hours. Pack into clean, hot jars. Wipe rims and screw on lids. Process 10 minutes in boiling water deep enough to cover lids by at least 1 inch. Serve the preserves on buttered toast, if desired. Note: After cutting watermelon, save the rind in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare the preserves.
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