Source: Survival Blog, by Sarah Latimer
I’m continuing my journey to consider some of the basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) that I will want in my pantry in the event of TEOTWAWKI. Sure, if it is a matter of life and death, we will take what we have and make the most of it. However, like many others who have contributed to the wealth of information on SurvivalBlog, I am pursuing the idea of thriving rather than just surviving, and I know that knowledge and tools are far more valuable in a long-term crisis situation than having a finite supply of end product stored.
In considering what basics we use on almost a daily basis, there are quite a few that we will need to either be able to eventually produce on our homestead, find acceptable substitute for, or establish a local/regional source where we can purchase or trade to obtain them. Last week, I took a look at baking soda, which has so many uses in the kitchen, around the house, and for health care purposes also. This week, I will look at a product that is sometimes used as a companion to baking soda, at least for cleaning. Today, I’m writing about vinegar.
Like baking soda, vinegar is used in cooking, cleaning, and also for health care and hygiene purposes. It is a true basic. Fortunately for me, I know this product and have a little bit of experience producing it. I look forward to the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about its production in the future, as I hone my homesteading skills. To date, my experience has been limited to apple cider vinegar and plum vinegar. (We’ll not mention the unintentional vinegars that I’ve produced with neglected juices.)
Interestingly, the word “vinegar” comes from the French words for “sour wine”, but there are many vinegars made from sources other than wine. Vinegar is made when fresh, naturally sweet cider (whether grape, apple, grain, or another juice) is fermented into an alcoholic beverage called hard cider. Then, it is fermented once again to produce vinegar. According to The Vinegar Book by Emily Thacker, apple cider vinegar contains more than thirty important nutrients, a dozen minerals, over half a dozen vitamins and essential amino acids, and several enzymes. It also provides a large dose of pectin for a healthy heart. In her book, Emily Thacker also shares an easy vinegar pie crust recipe and many other recipes and ideas, as well as some of the health benefits of using vinegar.
Cooking with Vinegar
In cooking, I use a variety of vinegars, which include:
- white vinegar– made primarily from corn,
- balsamic vinegar– made from grape pressings into syrup that is turned into vinegar under stringent conditions,
- red wine vinegar– made from wine,
- raw apple cider vinegar– made from apples,
- Japanese rice vinegar- made from rice, and
- homemade fruit vinegars– made from various fruits.
Many in our immediate and extended family enjoy Italian and vinaigrette salad dressings, and vinegar is a key component of these. We also use vinegar in pickling (which is a good means of preserving that garden produce), in barbecue, in making bone broths (which are so healthy and tasty), and in many recipes.