This is a recipe that my great-grandmother, a proud Kansas farmer's wife, used to make. She'd can a bunch of this stuff in the late summer, and then we'd eat it when we had a mind to. She would sometimes send us a few jars in her annual CARE package of Christmas cookies. She died in the mid-1980s so my memory of what this actually tasted like is dim. It hasn't been made in our family since her death. It was her thing. I do recall we often had it with Christmas dinner. That tells me it goes well with ham. I can also tell you it was very, very sweet. My mother collected this recipe, and tons more, shortly before my great-grandparents passed away and compiled them into a small family recipe book. She added some of my great-grandmother's poetry and wisdom and gave one copy to each member of the family. That was a very special Christmas.
One 25 pound watermelon
1 teaspoon, powdered ginger
2 quarts, apple cider vinegar
7 pounds, sugar
4 sticks, cinnamon bark
2 tablespoons, whole cloves
Cut the watermelon rind into cubes and soak in salt water overnight. The salinity should be about one gallon of water to three tablespoons of salt. After soaking, drain and rinse off the salt water. Boil the cubes in another solution of one gallon of water with the powdered ginger. Drain.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan and gently boil for 30 minutes.
Combine rinds with syrup and can. For variety you can throw in a bottle of drained maraschino cherries.