Sunday, January 09, 2011
Question: Why would anyone want to make vinegar at home when it is so inexpensive to buy in the store?
Answer: Because the Sunday paper ran a column about how to do it way back in October when there were apples falling all around my neighborhood.
According to the recipe in the article, the vinegar making process was simple. I decided I would give it a try.
Basically all you have to do is randomly chop up apples and drop them into a clear container filled with filtered water. (No fussing either, the apple bits go in including skin, core, stem and seeds. Or just left over skin, core and stem if you want.)
A bit of cheesecloth or other breathable material goes over the jar opening. More apple bits can be added right up until the time a whitish foam appears atop the fluid.
At the point the foam appears the jar is removed to someplace where it won't freeze or get too hot and is then left alone for about a month or two. The bigger the apple chunks and the long the mix stews, the stronger the resulting vinegar will become.
The whitish foam is called the "mother" and is a form of fermentation.
Whenever you feel the vinegar is at the level that you desire, the fluid is drained/strained off into another container and capped off. The solid matter is disgarded.
Again...why would anyone want to bother with this small task?
Well for one: the vinegar has an extra flavor that is quite tasty.
And then there are all the non-culinary purposes for vinegar use: It can be used for many things: an antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungus fluid, useful for both for cleaning purposes and for wound care (diluted of course).
A vinegar rinse is good for hair, great for removing hard water deposits on glass and metal, cleaning glass in general.
It also contains most of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health.
Just try looking up uses for vinegar and you will see that there are plenty of suggestions and ideas for vinegar usage to replace other chemical mixtures.
I guess I felt like I wanted to be a bit of a pioneer woman or perhaps a survivalist: if things ever get really bad, now I know I can stew up a batch of cleaning and antiseptic fluid and a multi vitamin resource just by using the apples that grow abundantly in my neighborhood.
Naturally an apple grown without chemical spray is necessary...so watch carefully to be sure no toxic sprays have come around the apples that are used.
All it took was about 15 minutes, an old glass floral vase, some cheesecloth and about three good sized apples to make a quart of vinegar at home in a month.
Want to see the article that inspired me? Check it out HERE, the directions are written on the side bar.
So simple...I have to wonder why ever has vinegar making been kept such a big secret until now?
(Another tip: DO make a point of see The King's Speech. Everything that you've heard or read about it is oh so right!)