Mrs. S.R. Dull is one of our inspirations as a dedicated cook and a luminary of Southern cuisine.
In an earlier piece on the companion Notions from Home blog on this website, we described her as "The South's first celebrity chef," which is hardly an understatement.
Her 1928 cookbook "Southern Cooking" is a basic primer for the regional cuisine that she helped bring broader recognition to. It effectively bridged the 19th and 20th centuries with a wealth of classic recipes, some of them dating to the ante-bellum period.
Here is one of the 1,300 gems from Mrs. S.R. Dull, aka Henrietta Dull.
WATERMELON RIND PICKLES
1/2 gallon of cut watermelon rind
1 quart apple vinegar
1/2 ounce whole cloves
1/2 ounce whole mace
1 ounce mustard seed
2 lbs. sugar
Cut the rind in small pieces, about two-inch cubes; pack in brine until ready to use. Put a layer of rind and a light layer of salt; let stand until ready to make up. Soak in water over-night or until they are fresh. Then boil in weak alum water until they are firm and brittle. Boil again in plain water to remove the alum, and the rinds are clear.
Put sugar and spices into vinegar; boil together for five minutes. Add rind and boil gently for 10 minutes. Put rinds into a jar; pour the hot vinegar over, having the jar full; seal. They will be ready to use in a few days.
The most recent edition of Southern Cooking, from the University of Georgia Press, can easily be purchased online at http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/southern_cooking/
SouthernAirs developed some of these recipes, aiming as always for authenticity. Others are on loan from cited friends and relatives, or from authoritative sources with permission.