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!
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!"