Choosing a good cantaloupe can be a guessing game, right? You poke it . . . smell it . . . look at its color. And you think you've gotten a good one. But when you eagerly cut it open, you're sometimes disappointed. Maybe it's not sweet and flavorful. Maybe it was cut too soon--but you can't undo any of that. Or maybe it just never would have been the best of cantaloupes. (Photo by Sonbeam, Dreamstime.com)
Don't waste it! Instead, pickle it!
I don't wait to make pickled cantaloupe until I get one that isn't perfect. I buy cantaloupes for the sole purpose of pickling them.
Back home on the farm, my mother would plant cantaloupes in the garden. Many of them would ripen at the same time--far too many for us to eat before they spoiled. I can still picture a huge pile of cantaloupes on our porch.
My mother would urge relatives and visitors to p-l-e-a-s-e take some cantaloupes home with them. But there would still be many left. So we pickled and canned them.
I loved bringing up from the cellar a can of pickled cantaloupe when there was snow on the ground!
Recipe for Pickled Cantaloupe
1 cantaloupe, peeled and sliced (Best if it's not overripe.)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Cook on medium heat until cantaloupe is soft (about 15 minutes).
Delicious warm or cold! Pickled cantaloupe will keep for weeks in the frig because of the acidity of the vinegar. Or, can it in jars so you have some to eat all year long until cantaloupes are in season again.