The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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VINEGARS.                                        489
They will then be ready for use. It is an agreeable relish to fish, with a little melted butter, as many cannot eat them without vinegar and cayenne pepper.
Gooseberry Vinegar.—Mash a peck of fully ripe gooseberries in a vessel with a mallet, then put in 6 gallons of milk-warm water, and let it stand for a night and day; then strain through a sieve and put in 22 pounds of sugar and mix it well; put it in a 9-gallon cask, which, if not full, add more water. Let the mixture be stirred from the bottom 2 or 3 times a day.
To Preserve Spiced Vinegar for Pickles.—Take 3 or 4 small bowls of long pepper, 4 ounces ot black pepper, 3 ounces of white pepper, 4 ounces of allspice, 4 ounces of ginger, 4 ounces of cloves, 4 ounces of mace, 4 ounces of garlic, 4 ounces of mustard, 6 ozs. of horseradish (either cut in pieces or rasped), 4 ounces of shalots, and 3 ounces of capsicums; put them into a stone jar (either new or one used for pickling) with a quart of the strongest cider or perry vinegar; stop the jar closely with a bung, cover that with a bladder soaked with the liquor, set it on a trivit by the side of a fire 3 or 4 days, shaking it well 3 or 4 times a day. By pounding the spices half the quantity is enough, unless the quantity of the fruit be doubled ; the jar being well closed and the infusion being made with a mild heat or set in the hot sun for 4 or 5 days; and here is no loss by evaporation. If several kinds of pickle are to be prepared, to all of which the above spices are suitable, a larger quantity may be prepared at once and used as occasion requires.
Spice Vinegar.—To 15 gals, of wine put 4 heaping tablespoon-fuls of cinnamon, 8 tablespoonfuls of black peppercorns, 4 nutmegs, crushed to powder; when all these are ready, put them into a bag and boil them 2 or 3 times in 12 pints of cider vinegar, then boil the same quantity of choice wine, then half fill a barrel, which may grad­ually be filled up with a little wine, a little sour if convenient; stop it and let the wine make.
On Southern Plantations, to promote the health of the slaves, each used for his dinner a portion of pure cider vinegar, and not that which was patented. Undertakers on railroads find that the use of pure apple vinegar with water, as a beverage, daily, and with their food, promotes health by keeping off summer diseases and malarious influences.
An Excellent Home Vinegar can be made by simply putting the peelings and cores of fruit in a vessel, standing in a warm place, when ever you have them, or cutting up small ripe apples which are too small to be used otherwise, and add them. The vinegar will be good without costing a cent. A small portion of water should be added to increase fermentation.