Although, this entire month is dedicated to Lebanon and all its glory, I must interrupt the regularly scheduled programming with a jamming post that doesn’t have a lot to do with any particular country, as far as we are aware, that is.
My dad’s wife is Moldovan and has an impressive recipe box. She’s inspired me many-a-times. This specific recipe comes from her; she got it from her mother; who got it from her mother; But, it’s not Moldovan. It’s not a national recipe, that is. Does anyone know anymore on this topic?
Anyway, this recipe is also good if you’re big on food recycling. It uses all bits of the watermelon down to the seeds, helping you minimize food wastage. If the seeds are from a very ripe watermelon, they can be dried and planted. They are also edible; bake them for about 20 minutes first. So, That’s what drew me to it, initially. Then Alina mentioned adding pecans. At which point, I did a twirl, cried, drooled, and drooled. Then I said can we also add mint; I think mint will also compliment it. Then, like Thelma and Louise we got in the car and scoured the village for watermelon.
We picked up a 14kg watermelon (actually it was more like lifting) and got down to the jam.
- A whole watermelon
- Atr- if you can find
- Cut the watermelon in half
- Then to quarters
- Place the quarters skin side up and slice into 2cm half-moon slices.
- Remove the fruit. It will not be used in this recipe. If you find you have to much and don’t know what to do with it, then freeze it in large chunks. It can be used later in cocktails and smoothies.
- Now take the core and peel off the hard green skin. discard the skin.
- This is what you will be left with. The white part of the watermelon or the rind.
- Now slice into julienne cuts.
- Add all the sugar
- and mint
- and let it sit for 4 hours or overnight. This will help release all the juices and infuse the mint.
- Remove the fresh mint and place all the ingredients in a large preserving pan. If you want more of a minty flavor then add some dried mint at this stage. Bring to a boil, stirring very often. Skim off any foam, with a metal spoon. Then lower the flame and let it simmer until it thickens. Then add the pecans in the last 10 minutes. The whole cooking process will take about 45-50 minutes. If you find it too syrupy, then remove some of the syrup and reserve it for use later in cocktails and smoothies.
- When the jam is finished, set aside till tepid then ladle into sterilized jars.
- I pictured this with cheese; it reminds me of when my grandmother made my school tartines from arabic bread filled with cheese and jam. God rest her soul. It’s funny how some things stick, like jam!