The Vinegar Diaries: Day 16 – A Viking, A Gnat and A Hair in the Ointment

And lo, nay high, a man by name of Mr. Misk, he of substantial height who a thousand years ago would have been well-appointed in a shiny helmet with two pointy horns on top, this chip off an old Viking clomped in his clogs through my kitchen toward the jug of apple cider not-yet-vinegar in the utility room, and asked “Winnizit vinegar?” He unceremoniously rapped the side of the jug with his index finger, as if this might prod a faster result.

To this question there was a long and a short answer. I gave him the short answer. “When it tastes like vinegar,” and I suggested that he give it try.

He removed the tea towel and leaned over the jug, eyeing it suspiciously, and then sniffed at it.

It was then that a single silver hair uprooted itself from his not-yet-receeding hairline, and glided light as duck down into the apple cider not-yet-vinegar. And there it lay in all its obviousness-ness-es.

“Oops,” he offered. I stopped him just as he was about to finger the fluid and retrieve his single silver hair. I handed him a spoon, which was actually meant for the hair, but he dipped the spoon into the elixir, and took a sip.

And he coughed.

And he coughed.

And he coughed.

So I reckon my apple cider not-yet-vinegar is pretty thoroughly contaminated and muckied-up.

Particularly after a gnat (top right corner of the photo) chased the single silver hair into the jug.

So, I ask … Now what? Ignore the hair, ignore the bug, or pour it down the drain?

And what about these vinegar eels that I’ve read about – will that single silver hair send them screaming in horror as I nearly did?

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. emilydev9 says:

    Oh my…I think I had a dream about these mythical(?) vinegar eels when I was a child; it stuck with me for a long time. Maybe that’s why I’m a little scared to embark on the vinegar project with you all. You’re very, very brave! 🙂

  2. Misk Cooks says:

    I researched these little vinegar eels, and they’re totally harmless – not parasitic whatsoever, so I’m not really frightened by them. They apparently stay in the Mother of Vinegar where the food is. Also the vinegar is boiled and pasteurised before you use it in food, and that will kill off any little visitors. 🙂

  3. Joanna says:

    Ignore all the extra protein, I am sure it will just add to its unique and special wotsits…. I have been sojourning with Mitch’s Mother today. It does smell wonderful I have to say and have been pestering O Carlo as to how to look after it. He says it lives on alcohol. The world of fermentation is a mysterious place is it not? If I ever get to vinegar with mine I am not going to boil it, just strain it very carefully.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I saw where O’Carlo said feed it — diluted wine, wasn’t it? My apple whateveritis has stopped fizzing and bubbling for the most part. It’s just sitting there, acting like a magnet for passing insects and hair. Wondering if the cheese cloth might be allowing too many foreigners who haven’t passed the UK Citizenship Test into the mix.

      Must dash off now – Molly’s growling at a bird up the tree. (sigh)

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