Two weeks ago my partner-in-homesteading, Becky, made Apple Scrap Vinegar. As with many of the things we do, the idea came from me. Sometimes I call myself The Idea Guy. Now I’m not trying to take any real form of credit here, but it’s an ongoing joke between us. I’m The Idea Guy, and she is The Get It Done Gal.
I openly admit that I love dreaming up all manner of things, some of which can be a bit far flung. One of Becky’s famously used quotes for when I get into idea mode, when she knows I’m not going to get it done in a timely manner is from Elvis – “A little less conversation, a little more action please.” For example: Becky “I would love to have a food dehydrator.” Stan “I read recently about how to make a solar dehydrator. It’s pretty easy. I think it would make a good summer project.” That was in the spring and we’re in mid-November now. I may have mentioned it last summer as well.
There was one notable exception to this, the story of the found kitten and the new kitchen door. But that’s another story for another time. Someone please remind me about it in the future and I’ll be happy to share it with you. It demonstrates my complete ability to get things done quick….for the right project.
Back to our topic at hand, Apple Scrap Vinegar, and the spilling of said vinegar. The scene opens with Becky proudly announcing from the kitchen “the vinegar has a mother!” I’ll explain this later with the recipe. As Becky enters the living room she proceeds to show me the bottom of the mason jar where the vinegar has been fermenting. As she tips the jar out pours some of the vinegar. Oops…no lid. The mason jar was only covered with a cloth secured over the opening with a rubber band. Opah!!!
Normally I would react poorly to such events as they require unnecessary clean up, but not today. I am on my last day of 5 glorious days off. Glorious except for the fact that I’ve been sick for 4 of those days. Locked up in the house, restless, this now had great entertainment value for me! Not much vinegar was lost, but Becky forgetting there was no solid lid on the jar was priceless.
Making Apple Scrap Vinegar
Making it is easy. You would normally just toss these in your compost or garbage anyway so why not give it a try. Plan to do it when you are making an apple pie, or in our case an apple crumble.
What you will need:
-1/4 cup honey
-1 liter warm water
-a large jar
-towel or cheesecloth (or a large basket disposable coffee filter)
-raw apple cider vinegar (with mother) – optional
If you have lots of apple scraps, just double or triple the recipe, ensuring the ratio of 1/4 honey for each liter.
Step 1 – collect all your apple cores, peel, seeds, etc (none of the good stuff) and set aside.
Step 2 – mix honey and warm water
Step 3 – fill your jar with the fruit scraps and pour in your honey-water solution.
step 4 – cover with towel or cheesecloth (this is just to keep unwanted things from falling in). Secure with an elastic band.
Step 5 – let ferment at room temperature. Stir once per day.Step 6 – the liquid will darken after approx 1 week. Strain out apple scraps and ferment the liquid for another 2 to 3 weeks. Stir ever other day. You will start to see a ‘mother’ form on top.
Step 6 – save your ‘mother’ for your next batch and enjoy.
‘Mother’ of vinegar
What is it?
Mirriam-Webster Dictionary definition:
“A slimy membrane composed of yeast and bacterial cells that develops on the surface of alcoholic liquids undergoing acetous fermentation and is added to wine or cider to produce vinegar.
Mother Earth News describes it simply as:
“The ‘mother’ is a gelatinous mass of vinegar-making organisms that forms naturally in vinegar.”
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar describes it as:
“The ‘mother’ of vinegar is a dark, cloudy sediment. Only present in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, it naturally occurs as connected strand-like chains of protein enzyme molecules. Many people believe it is the “mother” that is what provides so many health benefits.”