This is best made with under-ripe cantaloupes found readily in chain groceries.
1/2 cup pickling lime
2 quarts water
2 small cantaloupes (about 3 1/2 pounds total)
5 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
First Day: Dissolve pickling lime in water, following directions on the
Cut cantaloupe meat from the rind, and slice it into bite-size chunks of
similar size and shape. Add the cantaloupe to the lime solution, and let it
stand about 4 hours at room temperature.
Drain the cantaloupe, rinse it, and drain it again. Return the fruit to
the bowl, cover it with more water, and let it stand at room temperature for
about 2 hours.
Drain the cantaloupe once more. Return the fruit to the bowl, and add the
remaining ingredients. Stir well to dissolve all the sugar. Weight the fruit
with a plate, and let it sit overnight.
Second Day: Transfer the cantaloupe and liquid to a large saucepan. Bring
the mixture to a boil quickly. Boil vigorously for about 1 1/4 hours, until
the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup.
While the cantaloupe cooks, sterilize 8 half-pint canning jars according
to manufacturer's directions. With a slotted spoon, divide the fruit chunks
evenly among the jars, filling them to within 1/2 inch of their tops. Pour the
syrup evenly over the cantaloupe. Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Let the pickles sit at least 1 week to develop their flavor.