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Monday, October 6, 2008

Homemade Vinegar

With all these apples, we have several projects going on at once. Today I had the three middle girls washing apples, the oldest cutting and cooking for apple butter, the boy juicing, and I was looking for the best to cut into rings for drying. Also part of the plan is to use every part of the apple, so we make vinegar from the cores and the pulp left after juicing. Finally, the excess pulp and apple bits left from vinegar are fed to the chickens. The chickens give us eggs and fertilizer (and eventually meat). Full circle sustainability.

Making-it-from-Scratch Monday

Apple Cider Vinegar
apple peels, cores, pulp, whatever
some kind of sugar

Use a crock or glass jar. This is like kombucha or fermented vegetables- metal reacts and plastic absorbs. Place your apple bits, water, and sugar in. I didn't measure anything, just made sure to leave heads space to accommodate bubbling. Stir. Cover with cheese cloth. Stir once a week. First it will smell like wine, then it will smell like vinegar. I took mine out today after about 3 weeks, and it smells so great! It's a slow process, unlike store vinegar, but the results are worth it. I have a three gallon crock, and in the end I got a gallon and a pint of vinegar.

Incidentally (and because it's my blog ;) here is a picture of my darling. He was gone today doing honor guard at the funeral of their former fire chief. George had also been friends with Gary's dad and farmed many, many years ago. He is one of the last of their generation left around here, so the attendance was more than half firemen, but it was still something he felt honored to do. I don't know, though- looking at him makes me feel like I'm gonna burst into flames! I'm probably his #1 customer!

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