I woke up to a quiet house this morning. Kevin is out all day doing lacrosse work so I had the whole place and day to myself. I have no shortage of things I want to do, but after my blueberry jalapeno jelly from the other day was a total failure, I needed a victory.
Last weekend, we got a call from my friend Barb asking if we wanted to come pick apples from her tree. Of course we did. So, we headed over to her place for a little visit and a picking session.
Also, some dog petting and ball throwing.
By this point, Barb had already facilitated a lengthy discussion on her Facebook wall about what would be the best was to use these apples. There were lots of ideas and lots of suggestions to make applesauce, ????, but I already knew what I had in mind: apple cider vinegar. (That may be the first time I’ve used an emoji as a part of a sentence. The end is nigh.)
In my opinion, this is the smartest use of apples because you don’t actually have to do much with your apples. Sure, they need a pretty thorough cleaning, but there’s no peeling or citing involved. You just need to chop them up. All parts of the apples are useful. In fact, the author of the recipe I use as a guideline uses only her scraps from making apple sauce.
According to many ACV makers who are far more experienced than I am, a mixture of apples makes for a better product so imagine my luck when a coworker walked into my office with a bag full of a different kind of apples from his yard!
Today, I set out to get this vinegar brewing, or, rather, fermenting.
Honestly, it’s super easy. Just wash your apples and chop them up. Put them in a jar then cover with sugar water (I mix in one tablespoon of raw sugar per cup of water) and use a weight or a smaller glass jar to push the apples down so all the pieces are sitting below the surface of the water. The first time I made ACV, I didn’t think I needed anything special for this, but it’s probably the most challenging part. This time, I am so glad I invested in a fermentation set from Masontops. My new pickle pebbles work perfectly and the set comes with an exciting recipe book of possibilities! Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, carrots…
One key thing to remember, especially if you try this during the summer months, is to cover the top of your jar completely with something breathable. I use cheesecloth and an elastic band. I’ve used Abeego in the past and I’ve also heard that you could use coffee filters or paper towel as well. Just make sure you do a good job because the fruit flies will flock to it.
Keep it in the dark and after about three weeks, strain the apples out. Return the liquid to the jars and leave it for another three weeks. Taste it periodically and when you like its flavour, pour it into bottles and this time give them a seal.
Also, I finally watched the last two episodes of this season of The Affair and I am just so sad about Allison. And Cole. Allison and Cole. God, I love an impossible love story.
And how about that a cappella rendition of What Sarah Said at the beginning of the finale? Wow. The use of the original Death Cab For Cutie recording at the end was pretty killer as well.
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