The show: Parade by Alfred Uhry; music/lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (listen to the OBC album)The nosh: Watermelon pickles
I chose to make watermelon pickles because one character mentions them in the show, but neither I nor the cast of Palo Alto Players' Parade had ever heard of them before. Turns out they are a Southern staple. They are a bit labor-intensive, but well worth it! When asked to describe their taste, responses included "bread and butter pickles with more dimension," "chutney-like," "Branston pickle; might pair well with sharp cheddar." Or you can eat them right out of the jar!
3 cups of watermelon rind (about 1 small melon's worth, or buy a pre-cut half from the store)
1 cup water
3/4 Tblsp. pickling salt (you can use regular salt, but it will brown your brine)
Pickling brine; i.e.:
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
One 2″ piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1. "Harvest" your watermelon rind. I did so by cutting a small melon in half, peeling the green skin off the rind, then cutting up the melon and removing the pink. For the purposes of this recipe, you only want the white rind.
2. Place the rind in a non-metal bowl, cover with water and add your pickling salt. Let it sit overnight in your fridge.
3. The next morning, strain and rinse the rinds. Put them in a pot and add water to cover the rinds. Boil for 20-30 minutes until the rinds are fork-tender. (Careful: over-boiling will cause you to lose some of the rinds' interesting crunch. But they'll still taste pretty good.)
4. In a second pot, combine all the brining ingredients (cloves, allspice, cinnamon, water, vinegar, sugar) and bring them to a boil. Then, add the rinds and simmer for 45 minutes.
5. Remove the cinnamon sticks and place the rest of the mixture into your receptacle of choice. If you are not canning the mixture, make sure to refrigerate as soon as possible. The pickles are fully cured in a week, but they are delicious immediately!
(recipe via Lillian's Cupboard)