Monday, September 27, 2010


Yep. You read it right. If you don't like watermelon or pickles then this isn't for you. The flesh of the watermelon is not used as you can tell by the title. I made these pickles about 12 years ago and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone else who shared my palate for this delicacy.

I enjoy the refreshing taste of watermelon. There's nothing like it on a hot day. I purchased two melons this summer. The first one was sweet. The second one, not so. Determined not to have my $5.00 go to waste, I decided on making watermelon pickles again. Only this time I'd make them in pint jars and just enough for me.

I used a different recipe than 12 years ago. Here's the recipe I used.
Here you see a very large blah watermelon covered in a plastic shower cap.

BTW I've been using the disposable shower caps to cover odd shaped foods. They're inexpensive and the elastic helps it mold to whatever you're using it for. It's a lot easier than trying to wrestle with cling wrap. I keep the caps in my pantry and they are dedicated to food ONLY!
What a disappointment. Not sweet at all. PROOF that, "Looks can be deceiving."

This recipe turned out to be more labor intensive than the one I used before.
Let's get started anyway.

1. Scoop out all of the pink flesh and either dispose of it or put it in your compost heap.
What you're looking at here is the flesh scooped out placed on top of the shower caps I'd used to cover them. All of that is inside a doubled plastic bag for which I plan to discard on garbage day.
2. After scooping and scraping the flesh you have this white rind.
I cut it into smaller manageable pieces because now I've got to cut the dark green peeling from the other side. It's easier to use a potato peeler instead of a knife.

I used food service gloves throughout the prep stage. I had no idea watermelon could stain. That was a "Duh" moment!
I placed the salt and water over the rind, covered it and put it in the fridge. WHEW! That's enough for today.
3. I drain the salt water and rinse the rind two times. I cut it into two inch pieces. (You can cut it into whatever size you want. I should have cut it smaller since I was using pint jars).

4. Place the rind in a large container, cover with the vinegar, sugar, spices and water (read the recipe and you'll know how much to use.) and boil until just tender, not mushy.
Finished again for the day. Put these little buddies back in the fridge.
BTW I stored them with the spice bag inside. Hoping that the flavor will be intense!
I hope you slept well. I surely did.

Meantime, back in the kitchen our trusty homemaker continues to parlay her pickles.

I bought a dozen pint jars from Fred's which will have to be 5. washed and

I placed a clean dish towel in the bottom of the roaster pan to try to prevent the glasses from bumping together during sterilization. I don't own a water bath canner so I'm making do.

6. You can't see it here but I reheated the pickles to boiling and also the jars and bands. Everything has to be hot as 3rd floor hell when you pack it. I used tongs to remove the jars, a ladle to fill the jars, tongs to dip the lid for a few seconds to sterilize and tongs to remove the bands from the water and screw on to the jar. I used a clean rag to wipe the mouth of the jar and a dry dishcloth to screw on the band. (You didn't really think I use my naked hand did you?)
7. I returned the the jars to the water bath to process for ten minutes with the lid of the roaster on.

You'll notice there's one jar that I'm recycling along with its lid from which I had purchased pesto in. This is considered a canning no-no but well I like to try things.
Well here we are all finished. I let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours and then I store them in a cool dark place.
Just so you know I also used two quart jars .

I'll look forward to eating these alongside my greens. They'll go nicely on a sandwich, or with cheese. The possibilities are endless.

I guess it'll be another 12 years before I do this again. As you can see it's a lot of work.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Science Fact or Fiction?????

Here's the outside of the Experience Music Project Museum (EMPM) There is also a Science Fiction Museum attached.

Lt. Uhura's costume from Star Trek
Another space costume

Original Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock costumes. Notice the Captain's chair.
E.T. The Extraterrestrial
This was a great movie. Family friendly. A very young Drew Barrymore is one of the characters.

This is the mock layout of the bridge on the Starship Enterprise.
"Danger Will Robinson! Danger!" This is the robot used in the 1960's TV program, Lost In Space. I had a Lost In Space Board game during the show's popularity.
I'm not familiar with this robot. Enlarge the picture and maybe you can read it.

I think this robot may have been used in a less friendly alien movie.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Railroad Park

The new Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham opened this month. I drove by ( all photos taken from the comfort of my vehicle) on a hot, Sunday afternoon. The heat didn't seem to keep anyone away.

The people I saw semed to be enjoying the park. Just behind the park are elevated train tracks. Every now and then a train might pass and you could hear its whistle.

There's a man-made pond and stream. I suppose the water feature is a calmative.

This 19 acre expanse of green covers 4 city blocks. Click the title link for details.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

AT ONE time returning to school meant a new plaid dress, school shoes, brand new book satchel, and returning after Labor Day.

The ice breaker for most teachers was to write a one page essay on "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." This became so predictable until I began writing my essay ahead of time so that when school began I'd already have it done and could sit idly doing nothing. Instead of being idle I most likely was drawing pictures on my crisp, white notebook paper with my razor sharp, number 2 pencils.

This summer a friend and I traveled to Seattle, Washington. Starbucks country, Jimi Hendrix’s hometown, Space Needle. I enjoyed it tremendously. I took scads of pictures but I won’t bore you with all of them. At least not all at one time. I’ve decided to put no more than 10 pictures at a time in future posts. Seeing all of those pictures at one time is overwhelming and after a while just plain boring.

Case in point. (I don’t know if I’ve told you this story before or not. I don’t care anyway. Remember it’s my blog) I attended an informal Ladies Luncheon a few years back with someone I knew named AP. These were her friends. I didn’t know a single person there but, she’d asked me to tag along. Lunch was at a chain restaurant . No problem. I’m sitting at a table with about 7 other women, hungry as a bear at Weight Watchers and these women start talking about their grandchildren.

But wait there’s more! (infomercial talk) They pull out PHOTO ALBUMS! Some of them have TWO PHOTO ALBUMS! Not the purse size album but the family ancestry size. We can’t order until after everyone has passed around their photo albums.

There’s only so much oooing and aahhing, “Isn’t that cute” you can do after you’ve looked at 50 pictures from this person, 175 from the next etc.

Will somebody tell me what is so “darling” about a toddler sitting on the potty? And, do they do costume changes? I swear I saw the same kid sitting on the potty in 10 different pictures just wearing a different bib.

I couldn’t leave because AP was driving. I think babies are cute and I don't mind looking at pictures but I don't want to look at pictures all the time or only talk about Pampers vs. Depends.

Well I just spent too much time talking about grandmothers and their leather bound baby picture encyclopedias. Yep, I said it. Volume A- 5 pics of baby awake, Volume B-8 pics of baby in the bath, Volume C-8 pics of baby cuddling with grandma. I think you get the picture(Yes, I meant it as a pun). It was an experience I don’t care to have again anytime soon…or ever.
Experience Music Project Museum. A costume worn by Jimi Hendrix.

A tower sculpture about 200ft. tall made of guitars and other musical instruments.
Costumes worn by the original Supremes

Very ornate with beading and a tiny size . I guess it's true TV and photos make a person look larger than they are.
I remember these dresses from the Ed Sullivan Show, when the Supremes performed with The Temptations before the Supremes disbanded. I just loved seeing the Temptations dance. They were so
My camera didn't capture the pink in these dresses. Use your imagination.

As you can see there were others. Time was running out so I tried to take a collective shot of some of the other dresses.