My reading lately has been made up of things like This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader, In the French Kitchen Garden: The Joys of Cultivating a Potager , and Golden Gate Gardening: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area & Coastal California . To top all that off I was thumbing through an old favorite, Stocking Up : The Third Edition of America’s Classic Preserving Guide. All of these are highly recommended if you want to expand your garden a bit. There’s some wonderful connection between growing your own food and cooking it. In fact, I can’t quite imagine enjoying cooking so much if I didn’t have some connection to the production of some of it.
As I began making the peach pie I looked at the the stainless steel bowl I use to hold my kitchen waste until I walk it out to the compost pile. There’s some frugal gene in me or something that is bothered by waste. I remembered reading about making peach vinegar with the skins and pits so went off to get Stocking Up : The Third Edition of America’s Classic Preserving Guide and refresh my memory. I tied up the peach pits and skins in some cheesecloth and simmered in 2 cups of white vinegar for 15 minutes, then cooled off and poured in an old mayonnaise jar and refrigerated it. I am hoping the white vinegar will work. I’ve got a half a dozen kinds of vinegar in the pantry and stumble when something calls for “vinegar” without being specific. I buy white vinegar by the gallon for cleaning and cooking and laundry. I’m also hoping I won’t need to actually “can” this if I refrigerate it. I do have canning jars out in the garage and am thinking of pulling them out for some applesauce at least, although it’s been a few years since I actually canned. The freezer is so much easier–but, I have to admit, with Katrina in the news, I think about losing electricity. Having just had a failed refrigerator, I am leery of depending on electricity for emergency supplies.
So any suggestions on what to do with peach vinegar? It smells heavenly. Well, if you like vinegar, which I do. Marinades come to mind…
I used to make stewed fruit with vinegar too – just a little – and the peach vinegar would be great for that. Also salad dressings.