Sunday, October 18, 2020

Apples from Maine, in Brooklyn

While we were in Maine I collected apples. 

Apples from the lichen-hung trees near the house. 

Those were yellow with a blushing cheek. The muskrats who lived in the pond behind our cottage liked them (and we liked the muskrats, never having been able to watch them, before). So I call those apples Muskrat.

Red apples from the field above the cottage. 

Pink apples from a shed on our friend Kirstin's family-land, where she and her husband David had been collecting them. 

And so back in Brooklyn I made three ferments. One for each apple. If all goes well with the wild yeasts (I don't add commercial yeast), the result will be three different vinegars. Today I strained them.

The murky brown jars? Well. We'll see. Cider. As in hard cider. Made from all the leftover apples mushed together. Ideally, you'd have a press. Or even a juicer. I have a food processor. I have my doubts. So let's not focus on the cider.


Today I strained Muskrat, Red, and Pink. They will be covered loosely (because they need air), and in some weeks acetobacter will have converted the sugars into acetic acid. That's vinegar.  

And I use it a lot. Wild vinegars, made from flowers, or fruit, or aromatic twigs for that matter, have a depth that is instructive for anyone who has never tasted them. My feral vinegars become drinks, sauces, cooking liquids, the brine for quick-pickled raw vegetables, and yes, vinaigrettes. 

And when we taste them, we remember a time, and a place. Far away, too short, and very special.


Come and help us clean the park, October 24th


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