There’s nothing like sharing one’s mother.
Mitchdafish was the first of our vinegarees to conjure up a Mother of Vinegar from thin air, the air being where these acetobacter alcohol-swilling-bacteria are floating, and apparently if you’re very lucky and your karma is sutra’ed – no, that’s not right – if your karma is straight, then some of those bugs will grace your fermenting bog of bubbling apple cider with the entities required to create vinegar. To be honest, I could have crawled on my belly to the aisle stocked with vinegar at the supermarket faster than it’s taken to …erm…produce something nowhere near vinegar yet.
So that’s when Zeb Bakes snipped off part her portion of Mitchdafish’s mother, and posted her to me in a sizeable parcel with a “Fragile Glass” label slapped on it. I intend to keep the box for posting Christmas gifts. It’s a sturdy one. Recycling and all that. Well, not recycling really because then I’d be tossing it into the paper recycling bin, which I’m not going to do – I’m going to reuse it so that someone else has to make a moral decision to recycle or reuse it. Whoa. Off topic…
So, I opened the parcel and welcomed Mitchdafish’s mother to Sussex. I held her up to the light and admired this dangling bit of gelatinous matter that actually looked very similar to a jelly fish – but without the tendrils and not able to do umbrella-type-propulsion manoeuvres. Okay, so it’s nothing like a jelly fish, but it does feel like one that’s been caught on a fishing line. Not really slimy – more like a gooey, half-set jelly. And like most house-guests, Mitchdafish’s mother needed feeding after her long journey across the country in the autumn chill. She needed a good swig of scrumpy (hard cider) with an alcohol percentage of around 5-percent.
I grabbed my coat, the car keys, my ID (as if at my age anyone would suspect I was under-age), and I headed for the local shop to buy some cider. Nothing fancy, cheap as possible. I gave the beer and cider shelf a quick browse, and decided that the Kent cider at £6.00 a bottle was too rich for her blood. I bought something cheaper with a similar alcoholic content, and then realised that the check-out clerk might peg me as an aging housewife who needed a wee nip of cider in the mid-afternoon. So I decided that I should buy something more to divert attention from the bottle of cider. I grabbed a bag of Doritos.
“Havin’ a party, Ma’am?” he asked. I cringed knowing that the Doritos hadn’t done the job.
“No, I’m making vinegar,” I said. He just looked at me. He didn’t blink, he didn’t smile, he didn’t really seem alive. “Really,” I said, “vinegar. I need the scrumpy to feed the mother that just arrived in the post.”
He didn’t blink, he didn’t smile, and now I was sure that he wasn’t alive – brain dead, I reckoned.
So I left the shop without further comment – me, my scrumpy and a bag of Doritos. Let’s party.
And MOM is doing just that. She’s spreading across the apple liquid like an oil spill. BP would be proud.