One of my bargains from yesterday's boot sale was a useful little book called Vinegar - Nature's Secret Weapon. It is packed full with interesting old recipes that have been updated on a modern theme and a section on the properties & history of vinegar. Vinegar has been around it seems for some 7,000 years and was first mentioned for its preservation and healing powers in Babylon at this time. Vinegar brewing was big business in England as far back as the 17th century. It is a versatile ingredient in cooking and flavoured vinegars can easily be made at home, here is Lemon Vinegar:
2 large unwaxed lemons
570 ml (20 fl oz) white wine
a few lemon balm leaves
Wash and dry the lemons and pare the skin thinly without removing any of the pith with the rind. Squeeze the lemons and then measure 150 ml (6 fl oz) of the lemon juice and pour into a prepared clean wine bottle. Add the lemond rind and top up with white wine. Wash the lemon balm leaves and discard the stalks the add to the wine. Lightly cork the bottle and shake to mix the ingredients and then leave to stand in a cool dark cupboard for 10 days. Strain the lemon vinegar through a clean muslin cloth into a clean dry bottle and cork tightly.
This makes a lovely dressing for salads and a tasty seasoning for all types of fish and avocados.
Of course there are the usual recipes for pickling, chutneys, sauces but it can also be used in sweet recipes .... in meringues, chocolate cake, apple bread but did you know it can be used as an egg substitute. When baking a cake and you need an extra egg, as long as you are using self raising flour or a raising agent then 15 ml of vinegar is a good substitute and will not effect the finished result of the cake.
Healing with vinegar
Vinegar is a bactericide suitable for minor cuts and abrasions, it is also an anti-imflammatory agent suitable for wasp stings, insect bites and sunburn, cider vinegar is suited as a mouth wash for healing mouth ulcers and for strengthening the gums. Use as a gargle for sore throats and for ticklish coughs. Add to the rinsing water when you wash your hair for a long lasting shine. It can be used for acne, anxiety attacks, athlete's foot, chapped skin, fatigue, cold sores, corns, cramp, dandruff, ear infections, hiccups, impetigo, indigestion, nausea, ringworm, shingles and the list goes on.
Air freshener .... 1 tsp baking soda in spray bottle with 2 tbsp white vinegar and 2 cups water
Clean brass, copper, chrome, pewter, cutlery, shower heads, crystal, drains
Stain removal including scorch marks, rust, tea, coffee
The book includes sections on honey and garlic ..... more on these at a later date
I hope I haven't bored you too much but I do find these old remedies useful and effective.