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2016-06-19 17.25.142016-06-25 17.28.50When I was growing up in the south, we used to visit our cousins in Alabama and when we ate watermelon, we threw it into the pasture for the cows to eat. I actually never heard of watermelon rind pickles until I was a grown woman.  It appears to be a southern thing.

Last week we got a nice small watermelon and I decided I wanted to try to make the pickles. But it meant soaking them in brine over night and patience is not one of my virtues so I started poking around for other recipes for the rind.

The Chinese and Japanese use them quite a bit and like them very crunchy.  Since I love foods from both cultures, I headed in the direction on Google searching for the right recipe.  In my travels, I discovered one for Chutney – which I love almost as much as Oriental cuisine.

This is the recipe I found and except for adding a bit more heat – in the form of more pepper corns and some little green chilies from my garden,  I pretty much followed it to the T.

Watermelon Rind Chutney

  1. 5 cups watermelon rind, tough green skin removed and cut into small pieces – or grated.
  2. 1 cup Coconut Sugar. (I used plain sugar)
  3. ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar. (I used plain white vinegar)
  4. 2 inch ginger, minced or grated.
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated. (I used 6 cloves – there are vampires you know)
  6. ½ serrano pepper, remove seeds, minced. (I used two small ones from my garden)
  7. ½ tsp Fine Sea Salt.
  8. This wasn’t in the recipe, but I added a tablespoon of peppercorns.

Put all the ingredients together,  bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until the rinds are soft – about 2 to 3 hours.

Put up in jars and can, or keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.  The jar I put in the fridge didn’t make it to one week. Just ‘sayin.

Enjoy!

Recipe source: http://myheartbeets.com/watermelon-rind-chutney/

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My husband and I dearly adore spring rolls. No cooking involved. Just assembly. Quite of bit of it in fact. But so worth the effort.  A friend asked me how we make ours, so I thought I’d post the process here.  Don’t really have a recipe so will try to make up one and post later.

First off, spring rolls are eaten by several oriental cultures – Chinese, Vietnam, Korea and Indonesia.  I guess the ones I make are probably more Vietnamese in nature – with a little southern twist occasionally.  Today’s demo has no southern influence except for the f2016-06-06 18.02.21act the mint came from my very southern garden.

Note – at least for me, the kitchen becomes a very busy place with everything set up to make the rolls.

Next, I quickly boil some shrimp and reserve the hot water to soften the spring rolls – which come in a package and feel like course paper.2016-06-06 18.02.26 They are very delicate so some people double them up when making the rolls.  2016-06-06 18.03.24The photo shows a package of them next to lettuce which I use to help hold the rice noodles.

Before I get started, I take a handful of rice noodles and cover them with boiling water to soften them. 2016-06-06 18.02.35-2 I drain them before placing them in the rolls.

I shred some carrots and find some mint from the garden.  I also add in bean sprouts because I like the crunch.  2016-06-06 18.02.29

 

Next I start assembly. I put the shrimp up at the top of the roll on top of the mint. The idea is to have the stuff all show through the transparent rice paper. I think you get the idea.2016-06-06 18.11.31

I then make a peanut sauce – there are bunches of recipes out there – but peanut butter is the key ingredient.

Spring rolls, yum!

Spring rolls, yum!

The finished product is then served with the sauce – no cooking, very fresh tasting and you can experiment with what you build in your creation.

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