Mommy saw a spaceship today, then ate a pickled watermelon rind

okay I know that’s a long title. Excuse me please.

But it was very exciting to see a real space ship fly by.

And don’t you think eating pickled watermelon rind is a rather alien thing to do?

First the space shuttle Endeavor

We heard that the Endeavor was going to be cruising around California on Friday morning, but for some reason it did not really sink in…until Friday morning. Then we did this “oh gosh, we need to go somewhere where we can see it!” routine.

It was going to fly over Disneyland. We could go around there. Or go to my moms who lives less than a mile from big D’s back door.

Then Skipper heard it was flying over the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Guess where they are located?

Yes, you betcha! Spitting distance from our boat. Same harbor.

No one would think to go there!

So we threw things into the car, turned on the radio and made a mad dash for Long Beach. We really had no idea when it would be flying over.

We had a little anxiety in the car, let me tell you.  I will be delicate and leave out the more colorful words, but I know if we had missed seeing the shuttle due to another red light or another bloody useless police blockade at the marina, I would have jumped out of the car in order to get out of the blast zone.

We have never been able to get to a shuttle landing or for that matter launching. Of course they don’t launch here but they have occasionally landed here at Edwards Air force Base. We did try once to go see it land once, when it was making an unexpected landing here, but ended up stuck in terrible traffic on the 2 hour trip up there and missed it.

We came thaaaaat close!

We weren’t going to miss it this time!

And we didn’t.

But the world did not make it easy.

There were an extraordinary number of red lights. We passes thousands of people lining the cliffs, standing on the overpasses, sitting in folding chairs in the back of their pick up trucks.

There was traffic. And more traffic.

When we finally breathed a sigh of relief at the site of the marina we were shocked and appalled  to find the entrance blocked by police, turning people away. We couldn’t even get close enough to tell them we had a boat there and they would have to let us in!

I mean, you know, its us!

So we went to the next light and the same thing happened.

Thats when Skipper had to get into his James Bond mode. No one, and I mean no one, was going to keep him from his appointed rendezvous with his boat and the Endeavor.

No, we didn’t have bodies strewn behind us as we drove through the blockade and into our special parking area. No snipers, no police chase.

Just some pretzels and sliced watermelon I had managed to grab as we ran out the door.

And the camera. No great telephoto lens I am afraid. You may have to squint to see it. The sky was a bit hazy, not like the clear blue ones we have had lately. But we saw it plain as anything.

Endeavor saying good by and thanks for everything

We were almost along on the docks, just a couple of gentlemen withe their cameras. Some others hanging around on their boats with the cell phones glued to their ears. Sharing the excitement.

Now it is on its way to LAX to land with great pomp I imagine. In the course of the next couple of days it will be every so slowly transported to the Science Museum where it will be for the next 250 years. Really, that’s what the guy on the radio said. 250 years.

In the meantime, I have finished my pickled watermelon rind experiment.

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

I have to admit, I thought there would be a lot more in that jar.

A friend gave me this big jar. It holds at least a gallon, maybe more.I have no idea how it applies to pickles or if I have to really process them or anything.

I got the recipe from Mrs. Wilkes Boardinghouse Cookbook and I know dear old Mrs. Wilkes would not steer me wrong. It involved lots of sugar and vinegar and on the last day, an orange and a lemon.

It is very tangy at this point. Like a strong sweet and sour sauce.

But in 2 weeks we are having a party with a southern theme and by gum there will be pickled watermelon rinds! And biscuits with gravy, ham and turkey, black-eyed peas, chess cake and I don’t know what all. There may be sweet potatoes in there somewhere. But I will be sharing southern recipes with you this next week as I prepare. Or at least I hope I prepare and don’t procrastinate. Please don’t let me procrastinate. Hold me accountable!

For now, after they cool, I will refrigerate the pickles. Can you believe there is about one and a half watermelons worth of rind in there? And have you ever peeled a watermelon? I didn’t thing so. It’s no piece of cake I can tell you.

But enough for tonight. Space ships and melon rinds. Enough for  now. I will share the recipe tomorrow. And we will see if the melon rinds last till the 7th, when the party is happening.

Take care now y’all!


6 thoughts on “Mommy saw a spaceship today, then ate a pickled watermelon rind

  1. A Southern party… ya shoulda had it a couple weeks ago when we had Southern humidity to go with it!

    You mentioned chess cake. I’m familiar with chess pie, which was at every family gathering we had when I was growing up in southern Louisiana. Please, do share the chess cake recipe when you make that one.

  2. It won’t be southern without pineapple casserole and a grape salad. You will also need at least one congealed salad.Do you have your collards washed? I wish your southern party could be held here on the veranda of the Mistletoe Bough. Sweet tea anyone?

  3. How freaky is that? Planes obviously sharing their love like mummies and dadies do right there in front of everyone! Decidedly alien and surreal…I would have pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t being subject to some mass hypnosis type situation (too many Sci-fi channel exploits…). That pickled watermelon is MUCH more interesting (and less freaky). I read about how to make watermelon jelly and how it stinks when it’s cooking. Did the rind smell heinous? My mum used to use something calle “Pie melons” (or was that Pi melons?) to make jam many years ago. I haven’t seen any of them gracing any of the shelves in the local green grocers but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there on the fringes of consumption just waiting for scientists to discover some amazing new you-beaut enzyme that cures hangovers and they burst back onto the scene with exuberant joy! “Pi melons make your brain grow!” (and explode…but we won’t talk about that till we start to get sued…BRING ON THE PAYOLLA! ;)). Pffft to the peeling! You just slice it and scarf it out of the rind and there you go…peels/rinds! All you need are some Dickension street urchins to assit you and you will have a pile of rinds in no time! Good luck with the party by the way. If the rinds start to smell funky by party time make sure to make BIG thing of them and say that “these are specially fermented watermelon rinds that Anthony Bourdain specially recommended” and no matter WHAT they taste like everyone will eat them and gasp over how AMAZING they are 😉

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