Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pitting Plums and Plum Vinegar

I don't have posts lined up in advance like I usually do; in fact, this is the only post in the pipeline for now. I'm very sorry, but I will pick back up in a few days. I have been very busy helping a friend in the next town pit plums for wine, and we think we'll have about a thousand pounds by Sunday when we finish. 

Pitting plums is just plain messy and tedious, but at least with 2 of us, we pass the time with conversation and it goes faster. I haven't done my fair share of pitting because after about 4 hours, my back begins to spasm. That, in turn, prohibits anything else I might do during the day, including writing posts for this blog.

In this post, I mentioned I'm playing around with making real fruit vinegar. The jug of fermenting plum pits above is merely a trial of the process; I don't expect it to be a viable comestible but I have to start somewhere. The best way to make real fruit vinegars is to first make fruit wine, and the folks who make plum wines do not all agree on fermenting the pits or not. Most don't ferment them, because 'everyone' says the pits make the wine bitter, although some who do include the pits have won awards for the wine. Go figure.

So I decided to do some of each. Here's why:

I'm sure you've heard the story about a young wife who cut off the end of a whole ham before baking it? Her husband asked why, and she replied because her mother always did. Questioning her mother about why brought the response "because your grandmother always did". Well, the grandmother was still alive, and when questioned about the 'why' she replied "because the pan was too small". So it had nothing to do with the actual ham at all.

Now, it may turn out that the pits fermenting for more than a week or so actually make the juice bitter, but at least I will know firsthand... and not from hearsay!

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