Mom's Watermelon Pickles
Celebrating Ten Years of Food Blogging
Today commemorates my very first blog post written JULY 14, 2010. I chose to make my mom's watermelon pickles as my first recipe post. Her heirloom recipe was the perfect start to my ten year food blogging career. Although the photos look slightly different, the recipe has stayed the same for generations. Some things never go out of style!
A Whim Turns to Passion
I started food blogging on a whim with no intention of doing more than finding a place to share my recipe creations and heirloom family recipes.
My whim turned into a contest cooking addiction; which then turned into a food sport whirlwind with many award-winning recipes and TV appearances. I give God all the glory for his provision and blessing me in this way.
When Dreams Come True
I'm blessed to still be creating recipes and sharing them with my family, friends and the At Home with Rebecka's audience. The past ten years have been a labor of love, and the experience has granted me a food education I would've never expected.
God has a way of knowing our dreams better than we do. I could've never imagined the joy that's come with food blogging and my career as a Food-Sport Champion.
Creating recipes for sponsors and contests allowed me to discover a gift of balancing flavors and winning. The photo above is me winning the Bacon World Championships in 2017; just seven years after founding At Home with Rebecka.
I never dreamed I would go from being a novice food blogger to an award-winning recipe developer and TV personality. The photo below is my first Food Network appearance in 2017. I won my episode of Clash of The Grandmas-Home Sweet Grandma with my one of a kind Biscochito Cinnamom Tequila Ice Cream Sandwich.
I've grown exponentially as the years have passed, especially in the art of plating and photographing my food; but I'm still learning.
Some of my favorite recipes and photos are found in my At Home with Rebecka header.
What's next? Well, that's the million-dollar question.
I've been working on a self-published cookbook for just as long as I've been blogging. The technical aspects combined with food photography have been overwhelming, so if you know a great publisher that would like to join me in the completion of the book, I'm all in.
I'm happy to share that I just won the Cape Cod Select Blogger Recipe Challenge Grand Prize $1500.00 for my Grilled Pork Chops with Cranberry Pineapple Sauce with Cranberry infuses side dishes. Winning keeps my creative juices flowing and my competitive personality ready for more.
World Food Championships 2020
I'm headed back to World Food Championships this November to compete for my fifth year in the Bacon World Championships. I hope to make Top Ten after experiencing a horrible defeat in 2019 finishing 24th. With God's grace, I may find redemption this year.
Never surrender, never give up!
Watermelon Pickles are a succulent, spicy pickle made from the white flesh of the watermelon; an heirloom recipe past down to me by my mother Anne. My family has been canning watermelon pickles every season since my mom taught me to make them in Albuquerque, NM in 1965.
- 1 large seedless watermelon
- 2 quarts cold water
- 6 Cups sliced and peeled watermelon rind
- 4 Tablespoons Kosher or Sea Salt
- 2 Tablespoons pickling Spice
- Second Brine.
- 2- inch piece of fresh ginger thinly sliced
- 5 Cups water
- 4-6 cinnamon sticks broken in half
- ¼ cup whole lemon with peel thinly sliced
- ¼ cup real lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons whole cloves
- 4 Cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons candied ginger
- Choose a large seedless watermelon and cut in half. Remove all the flesh leaving just a bit of red flesh on the rind. Cut off the green skin and cut rind into 2-3 inch strips. In a large bowl place 6 cups of rind into 2 quarts of cold water, add remaining ingredients and let soak 5-6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Rinse the rind in a large colander rinsing off as much of the pickling spice as possible
- In a large stockpot cover rind with cold water, add the sliced ginger and cook for 30 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain ginger water keeping the ginger flesh with the rind.
- To make syrup combine 5 cups water, watermelon rind, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, 4 cups sugar, sliced lemon, and candied ginger. Gently boil for 30 minutes
- 24 -6 ounce sterilized canning jars, hot from the water bath
- Using a pair of tongs gently remove the flesh of the watermelon rind, lemon peel and ginger and place in sterilized jars. Using funnel ladle or pour hot syrup over the rind leaving ¼ inch at the top of the jar free. Wipe rims with a damp paper towel to clean any spilled food to make sure a tight seal. Cover with lids tightly and boil filled jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. Remove to a clean hand towel and let stand until you hear a distinctive “pop” or “ping” sound. It can take up to 24 hours for a proper seal on some jars, so don’t be afraid if you don’t hear the popping sound right away. If by chance, one of the jars doesn’t seal (push the top of the lid and if it moves up and down it’s not sealed). Refrigerate and enjoy right away with your family and friends. You can also Reprocess an unsealed jar by placing a new heated lid on the jar and re-heating per the recipe instructions.
- Makes 18
A culinary journey of comfort and style
My blog motto has shown itself to be true... At Home with Rebecka is proud to stand the test of time while continuing to exemplify the motto: "A culinary journey of comfort and style."
Cheers! Here's to ten more years.
Awards and Publications
For a full list of my awards and publications, check out my Awards and Publications Page.