The Milkweed Diaries

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Moon and Stars in Virgo

We grew the beautiful heirloom watermelon "Moon and Stars" this year (pictured above getting ripe in our garden). The speckles on the rind really are like stars in the sky, and coming across a melon in the garden somewhere that the rambling vines have ended up is like stumbling on a little galaxy.

We sliced one of the Moon and Stars melons open this week with some friends and feasted on the luscious and juicy pink melon flesh.

After we had eaten our fill of watermelon, we made watermelon mead with the leftovers, saved the seeds for next year, and cut up the rinds for pickling in brine.

For the pickling, I used a teaspoon of salt per cup of water and pressed the rind slices gently to squeeze out their juices, and submerged the rinds in a big glass cookie jar. The brine is starting to cloud up and get bubbly, so fermentation is definitely happening.

Looking for brine-pickled watermelon rind recipes online, I discovered that this Southern/Asian fermented delicacy is known as an aphrodisiac. I'll report back what I learn about the love-inducing properties of fermented watermelon rinds once the pickling is done!

Watermelon mead

Next year's Moon and Stars watermelons

All in all, it's a lovely watermelon that I heartily endorse. We got our seed from Fedco, but Seed Savers Exchange and other companies offer it as well.

Hurrah for "Moon & Stars!"

Moon & Stars Watermelon on Foodista


Mrs. Accountability said...

Hi - I saw your comment over at about your fermented watermelon rinds trial. It has been a few weeks... I am wondering how they turned out? I grew the Malali watermelon this year, for some reason my soil is growing small melons and the Malali (supposed to get 15 or so pounds, but the largest was about the size of a volleyball and about 7 pounds) was filled with huge seeds. Anyway, after picking out the seeds, the flesh was juicy and sweet. Now I am thinking about fermenting the rinds. I loosely follow WAPF principles, wish I had the time and inclination to do more. We do have our own dairy goats, so yay for raw milk and lotsa fertilizer from the berries. ;-)

Milkweed said...

Hello Mrs. Accountability!
Yea for fermentation! The rinds turned out pretty mushy. I was not impressed. But I know they can be really good just pickled in brine. A friend of mine did some a couple years ago that were stellar.

I think the problem with mine was the temperature of the room (my kitchen) that they were fermenting in. I need a basement, root cellar, or other dark, cool place!

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