Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sun Tea and Peach Vinegar

But not together. That would just be gross!

I'd like to share with you the science experiments I've got brewing in our home. 

Experiment number one: Sun Tea

On our way back from berry and apple picking in Oak Glen, Jonathan and I stopped by the home of our good friends from college, Andrew and Amanda. They were generous enough to give us some of their time rather last minute, and to share the secret of Sun Tea with us! Oh it was so good.

It's simple, really. Place four tea bags in a pitcher of water, stick in sun, forget about it all day, pop some ice cubes in a glass when you get home from work and drink your delicious, sun-brewed tea. Why not harness the power of sunshine, especially when you live in a place like Southern California?? Oh, and you can also do this with coffee in a french press!

Ok, number two: peach vinegar.

Really, I should say fruit scrap vinegar because you can use any fruit, as far as I know. So far I've done it with strawberry tops and now peach peels.

Isn't that just so pretty? The floating mass on top is all of the peach peels, the liquid below is the sugar water that's turning into vinegar. Heeeere's how you do it:

Step 1: Get the idea to make some sort of fruity delight. In this instance, I wanted to make peach butter.
Step 2: Wash and peel your fruit.
Step 3: Set aside the fruit peels instead of throwing them on the compost/trash.
Step 4: Finish your fruit recipe
Step 5: Remember your fruit peels! Say "aha! I will make vinegar with these peels!"
Step 6: Place your fruit peels in a VERY clean jar.
Step 7: Pour water into jar, covering fruit.
Step 8: Mix in 1/4 cup sugar into jar, stir to combine. (I used a 24 oz jar. adjust ammt of sugar for a smaller or larger jar)
Step 9: Secure a piece of cloth over the jar so it can breathe but the flies can't get in. Keep on your kitchen counter.
Step 10: Stir every day.
Step 11: In 1 week, strain the solids out of the jar and keep the liquid. Keep the liquid out with the lid covered with cloth, as before. Oh, and you can put your spent peels in the compost now.
Step 12: Freak out a little bit when a glob forms on top of your vinegar in a few days. Research it and realize it's the "vinegar mother," and then celebrate when you understand that means you've successfully made vinegar!
Step 13: Once your vinegar has reach the flavor you desire, scoop off the mother (don't throw her away, you can use her to jump-start future vinegars!), and refrigerate.
Step 14: If you want your vinegar to last longer than a couple of weeks, you can heat process it as you would for canning. Don't ask me the recipe for this: I've never done it and have no clue how. Research this elsewhere :)

My plan is to make a peach vinaigrette! Doesn't that sound yummy?

What kitchen science have you tried lately?


cerissanne said...

You're so bold in your kitchen! You inspire me! I like your steps, so silly!

Meg said...

Thanks! I try. I love learning, so I guess that makes me do bold things. The last time I made vinegar I was too afraid to consume it, so hopefully this time I actually use it in something! Will post about how it tastes if I'm alive to tell the tale ;)

Deb H. said...

Like the sun tea idea, I am a fan of iced tea in our summer. Not sure about the fruit vinegar.