July 13, 2011

Blackberry Vinegar... a duh moment

I'm a smart lady. I mean Ive gotten this far , almost 60. Yea I've had hard times like everyone else. I did good in school, A, B student, sometimes honor roll. I was told I have a high IQ but they didn't tell me what it was. Honestly I didn't want to know and still don't. Why? That number scares some folks and makes some folks think they are better than they really are. And so I didn't want to know. I became a chef without any schooling for it. I worked with many in the business for yrs and even some CIA folks. I felt inadequate and thought about quitting and going to school. My exe. chef told me, don't, you are already a chef. He asked me a few things which of course I knew and he said all they do is teach you how to cook, you already know how to do that. I felt much better and he was right. I watched CIA grads fumble around and I had to fix their stuff. lol So I think I'm pretty good at least.

And several yrs ago after my divorce I went to collage. I was terrified to do so after being out of school for over 30 yrs. But I aced my first courses, one of them was a second yr. business law class, people were stunned I took. No I didn't finish, family problems but I am very proud that I could do that at my age.  And so why is it then the simple stuff often evades me? Maybe I just over think it.

I recently purchased at our local Farmers Market, a Marion berry balsamic vinegar. I adore Marion berries and so I had to have it. At $9 bottle it was a bit pricey but I HAD TO HAVE IT . Didn't know yet what I would do with it tho. And in one of my most recent posts on jam you will see what I did with some of it. It was good.

And wandering online today, several times I saw postings for making your own cherry vinegar. Now I like the thought of that. And I had a few cherries frozen from last week I didn't want to go bad. And I had a whole bag frozen and pitted. I used some of it when I made the Honeyed Fruit Preserves. But today because I decided to make that, can you believe I couldn't find that frozen bag of cherries?

I moved a yr ago from CA. to Or. I had packers and movers. They took anything they found and shoved it in a box. And so I was very surprised when I found a 1/3 jug of balsamic vinegar at Christmas time shoved in my decoration boxes. lol First they told me they wouldn't transport any liquids but I told them I will not get rid of that stuff , you know how expensive it is? And so I guess they just hid it so I could take it anyway. But I didn't know that. And so today I remembered that bottle and decided to use it to make that cherry vinegar.

But its not gonna happen....

Now I know your wondering where all this is going. Its leading to the recipe! But I thought you might like to hear how it all came about. So when I realized I couldn't find those damn cherries........I remembered I had blackberries. Marion berries are a strain of blackberry. I could make my own vinegar instead of buying it.........DUH!!! The Pacific Northwest is Berry Paradise.

Last September when no one else had blackberries, mine were finally ripening in my woods. I thought somehow I missed the season. But because I'm on the coast, we were later than everyone. What serendipity!!! And so every week until there were none left I regularly went out in the woods and along my road with a basket picking berries. Every week I got a couple pts. and froze them. AND THEY WERE FREE! And so my AHA! moment came today......why buy it when you can make it with free stuff?

And so here it is........

Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar 

Makes any amount you want

1 big jar
a couple cups of blackberries without stems
Balsamic vinegar to cover

The cherry recipe said she taste tested it 10 days later and it was pretty good. Ill do the same with these.  When it tastes like you want it to , strain it and bottle it. Ill let you know how it works out.

There!! Cant get much easier than that! (So why didn't I think of this earlier if I'm so darn smart? lol)


Day two: I stirred it up this morning real good and tasted it. Omgosh its already yummy. I'm not sure how long Ill let it sit, but I don't think it will need as much as a cherry vinegar would. In fact, when I do decide to drain this, I'm saving the pulp. I will strain the seeds out and add it to the blackberry jam Ill be making real soon. 

Day Three: Yummy berry flavor is starting to develop in the vinegar.
Day Four: Stirred once again and tasted. The vinegar bite seems to be almost gone. It tastes good enough to use as a drizzle over Ice cream. This would be one of those kinds of vinegars, Id mix with Olive oil and herbs to dip bread in.  
 Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar bottled up and ready to use. Its mellow and fruity. Would be good for salads or desserts. It even tastes better than the one I bought so I guess Ill be making my own from now on.

1 comment:

Marion said...

Mmm...this sounds so yummy! When I lived on the Coast, I picked blackberries by the pailful...I couldn't believe how prolific they are! There were lots of folks doing the same as I did...sometimes on the same patch! and still they produced, until early frost.

Your vinegar sounds great. Right now, since I'm in the midst of rhubarb season, I'm making rhubarb barbecue sauce. It's so good with chicken or ribs. I'm looking forward to reading how the vinegar tastes!