I just tasted a deep full bodied vinegar made with loblolly pine. Anyone else make vinegars with "unusual" ingredients?
Before I got into herbs (only since 2006 when I joined the Southside Virginia Herb Society) I would take a tablespoon of vinegar for the health benefit of balancing the body's pH. Now I know vinegar does so much more than that. The vinegar made with loblolly pine needles is what Susun Weed calls Homemade Balsalmic Vinegar and is rich in Vitamin C, trace minerals and antioxidants. I also make vinegars from calcium rich herbs like rosemary and chickweed. Two tablespoons a day is enough to satisfy a woman's calcium needs. Who else out there is into vinegars? Kathy C.
I'm holding onto the last few drops of vinegar I had gotten from you at the plant sale at Charlotte Courthouse, I've really enjoyed it and think it is something that should and will catch on with others. Another calcium rich herb and which has more linoleic acids than any other is purslane. It would make a wonderful vinegar, it has such a crisp slightly tangy taste-great in salads. The Golden purslane is my favorite, it came up for me the next year but I haven't found any volunteers this year so I'll need to purchase seed and plant again.
I have not tried purslane so I'll be on the lookout for some growing wild. So glad that you are enjoying the vinegar from our Herb Sale. Vinegars are so easy to make. I use apple cider vinegar from the grocery store. Purists prefer the unpasturized types but with pasturized you still get the good stuff but don't have to boil the mix. Gather the herbs in the morning, rinse if needed and allow the herbs to air dry for a couple of hours. I use quart Mason jars and stuff them with the chosen herb so that they make a "comfortable bed for a fairy". Then I cover with the vinegar and seal with plastic wrap. Don't use metal or it will corrode. I keep it in a dark cool place for 2 months, turning at least weekly. Then I strain into a smaller container using a funnel and cheese cloth. Make sure to label your vinegars because things look different when they've been soaking for 2 months.
Thank you Kathy for the information on making the vinegars I will have to give them a try. Is there a local company that sells brown bottles with corks or do you send away for them?
Well, I try to repurpose so I use empty beer bottles that friends give me since I worked in a steel plant so am a can girl. For the stoppers I use corks from bottles of wine that we enjoy with supper. Hardest part is getting the labels off the beer bottles. I generally soak them in very hot water for about an hour and then use a hard rubber scrapper to get the bulk off and a scrubbie to remove the residual glue. Mason jars or any jar would work fine too for storage as long as you use a plastic lid because the vinegar will corrode the metal lid. I use other jars at home but the beer bottles for gifts or for selling because I like the look.
I took all this information in that you gave me and I've been bottling some up today. First I put some chocolate mint in a wine bottle and filled it with apple cider vinegar. then I thought about making a foot soak mixture so I put some Epsom salts in a mason jar and added rabbit tobacco (Everlasting), the mint, plantain, and lemon balm. I'll probably do something with some of the pineapple sage tomorrow, it has a ton of growth on it too. :)
what is rabbit tobacco?
I have tons of lemon balm and would like to do something meaningful with it.
Chocolate mint vinegar??????????? Have you ever tasted it before....sounds wild LOL
The rabbit tobacco grows very well in my back yard. The best way to identify it is from the white hairs covering the stems- nice and soft but unlike Mullein and Lamb's ear it has way smaller leaves. The plant looks like its about to die actually, frail looking, but it's called Sweet Everlasting because it never dies, it keeps that same form after it's been picked.
It's very good at abating asthma, smoking it has been common but it works just as well if you make a tiny pillow with the plant and sleep with it near your head.
I have a propane meat smoker and look at different rubs and marinades for the meats. I think using the mint vinegar for marinading will be great. I'm thinking on trying it also on portabella mushrooms. I'll let you know how it turns out.
And the Lemon Balm, I'm thinking of making some massage oil with a good batch of it. The medicinal properties are good for anxiety and insomnia, that's why I thought it would be good to go in Epsom salts for soaking too.
Also, I have a Pelargonium-Apricot Geranium that has hit a huge growth spurt. I guess I'll try bottling the leaves in sunflower oil as well. It would be good for enhancing scent- very pretty smell even if it doesn't seem to smell like apricots, to me it's an indescribable scent.
Rabbit tobacco, boy does that bring back memories. My sister and our cousin Bud where always smoking it when we visited our Grandmother in Tennessee. My sister would always tell me I was a goody two shoes for never trying it.
Julie Marie, I want to know how your chocolate mint does as a vinegar. Sometimes things have a delicate taste get overpowered. Your soaks also sound interesting. I did make a lavender/cinnamon basil vinegar once that was blah. However, I mix half vinegar and half water and use it as a hair rinse once or twice a month. It is great to remove buildup of hair products and really I don't smell like a Thrashers French Fry!
I had bottled up some tarragon in vinegar and it just cured. Last night I used it as a marinade for some boneless chicken breast- it turned out really tasty. I'll try it on some fish next. I'm really liking these flavored vinegars.
Glad that you enjoyed it. I haven't ever used tarragon. I'm sure it would be good with fish. I noticed that my hyssop vinegar is almost gone. That means that hubby used it for his fabulous deviled eggs which he makes with chives and dill when I have it and sour cream instead of the mayo. I wasn't crazy about horehound vinegar at first but getting used to it for my daily calcium. Vinegar is good to soothe a cough and with the horehound, it is exceptional to end coughing.