Monday, October 12, 2009

Watermelon Rind Chutney (Page 905)

RECIPE #1036

  • Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009 -- 6pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I had some watermelon in the fridge for another recipe, and no use for the rind, so I figured I would make this recipe with it. I started by peeling the rind. Then I cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. I put the rind in a saucepan with cider vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, serrano chile, garlic, salt, and crushed black peppercorns. I simmered the mixture for about an hour. Then I refrigerated the chutney for a day to let the flavors develop. This recipe was simple to make and tasted better than it sounded. I have only eaten watermelon rind on a small number of occasions and I have never been too excited about it. This version was pretty good though. The texture of the rind turned out nice, and the chutney has a reasonably well balanced flavor. There was the right amount of vinegar flavor and the spicy kick from the serrano was nice. It was extremely sweet -- a touch too sweet I thought. I liked it fine, although I wouldn't make it again. The watermelon rind itself didn't have much flavor to it, and hence didn't contribute much except texture to the dish. I prefer chutneys based around a more flavorful ingredient (e.g. mango) that adds additional depth to the dish.

The recipe is here.

Man, am I exhausted! I am commuting back and forth from Michigan these days. Typically my husband and I alternate weekends -- he comes to Indiana (where I live) one weekend, I go to Michigan (where he lives) the next. But we just bought a house, which means that there has been a lot of moving, unpacking, cleaning, getting settled, etc... to do in Michigan. So I have gone there the last 3 weekends in a row. What that means is that I spend Monday afternoon to Thursday evening in Indiana. Then Thursday evening, after I get done teaching my second class (which ends at 5:15pm), I drive the 5 hours up to Michigan. I stay in Michigan until Monday morning, when I drive the 5 hours back to Indiana, then go into the office to start my week here. It's a busy semester in more ways than one, so the net result of this schedule is that when I am in Indiana, I am always in my office. Today I got home from work at 9pm and that was typical. Tomorrow I will be in by 9am at the latest, and happy if I get home by 9pm. This coming weekend I am not headed up to Michigan, but rather to Chicago (which is almost as far) for a conference. It should be a great conference, although a bit stressful as I am one of the speakers. After that I think things will settled down a bit. I will return to traveling every other weekend, rather than every weekend! Maybe I will even unpack my suitcase for the first time in more than a month!

Truth be told, even though it is exhausting I love going up to Michigan. I am so excited about owning a house! Yesterday I raked leaves. It is a chore I am sure I will tire of in the years to come, as we have many huge trees in our yard. But yesterday I was loving it. They were our leaves! From our trees! In our yard! And I was raking them -- it was such fun. After raking I curled up on the sofa and worked all day. Then in the evening we started our first fire in the fireplace. We sat in front of the fire, peacefully enjoying our new home. It was great -- absolutely worth the long days at the office ahead of me this week!

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