Tag Archives: Vinegar

National Vinegar Month…How to make your own vinegar…

The white vinegar that we have in our kitchens the clear liquid which is generally a staple in our store cupboard generally contains 4–7% acetic acid and 93–96% water.

Historically, white vinegar has been produced from the fermentation of foods such as sugar beets, potatoes, molasses or milk whey.

vinegars bottle-589_640

Today, most white vinegar is made from the fermentation of grain alcohol (ethanol). This kind of alcohol doesn’t naturally contain many nutrients, so other ingredients such as yeast or phosphates may be added to kickstart the bacterial fermentation process.

While you can make vinegar in your own kitchen…it takes a while to ferment so it’s not something you can make overnight.

I am going to have a go at making my own red/white wine or ACV…Balsamic takes years to age so unless you have a nice store and some oak casks its not for most of us…White vinegar is cheap to buy and from the research, I have done it is possible to make it at home but you have to follow so many processes it is said to not be worth the effort.

Ok…Let’s brew… White/Red wine vinegar.

Firstly sterilise your jar or bottle if you are using although I would make the vinegar in a jar and when it is ready to decant into a bottle…

You will also require distilled water…I don’t use or buy distilled water so this handy little video shows you how to make your own at home…


Jars(s) sterilised and distilled water ready…Let’s make some wine vinegar.

Add 12 fl.oz(350 ml of wine and distilled water into your sterilised jar.

N.B.The wine you use should be free from sulphates…Again I have read advice which says that it hasn’t made any noticeable difference to the ferment time…

Vinegar is a fussy thing, isn’t she…?

Now to add the “mother”…I am going to use my kombucha scoby which apparently you can …The “mother” contains the bacteria needed to begin the process of turning ethanol into acetic acid. It sometimes forms in opened bottles of wine and looks like a slimy blob floating on the surface. You can buy “mother” (sometimes marketed as “vinegar starter”) in this gelatinous form, or as a liquid—look for it in homebrew or natural foods stores, or online.

  • If you’re adding gelatinous “mother” from a store, follow the package instructions regarding the amount to add—you’ll just spoon it on top of the alcohol in your jar.
  • For liquid vinegar starter, pour in 12  fl oz (350 ml), unless otherwise noted on the package.

Once you have made your first batch of vinegar you will have a “mother” for your next batch…the mother reforms every time you make a new batch. It is also fine to use the mother from your batch of red wine vinegar to make your white wine vinegar.

Now seal the top of your jar either with a cheesecloth or paper as the liquid needs to be able to breathe secure with a rubber band or you may have unwanted guests in the form of fruit flies.

Now to store your jar for 2 months in a dark, airy temperate spot with good air circulation if not wrap the jar in a towel but do not cover the cheesecloth or paper towel lid.

Do not shake, stir or move your jar for 2 months this gives the “mother” time to do her work…Ignore and vinegar or other smells for the first 2 months as it will go through the fermentation processes just let it do its thing.

After 2 months now comes the exciting bit…Take a disposable straw and without waking “mother” draw of a little of the liquid cover the top with your thumb and dispense into a small glass…Time to taste…

If it is too weak as it hasn’t fermented for long enough or too sharp it will mellow…Leave for another 2 weeks and test again. Repeat this stage every 1-2 weeks until it suits your palate.

Now your is ready you can scoop the mother into a new jar to start the process again or carefully pour all but a little of the vinegar and start again using the same jar…


Just think if you start now you can have some wonderfully flavoured kinds of vinegar to give as gifts for Christmas and the New Year there is nothing like receiving a homemade gift is there?

I am still waiting for my black vinegar to be delivered I will then share a recipe using black vinegar…

Stop Press: Update:

I have had a couple of enquiries about the” Mother” to start your vinegar. I f you can’t buy one then you can make it yourself…

To make a “mother”  from scratch.

1-litre red wine vinegar
1 bottle red wine

1. Pour the red wine vinegar into a saucepan and warm over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into your pot or barrel.

2. Add the bottle of wine, cover pot or barrel with their lids and keep in a warm place for 2-4 weeks.

3. Now check to see if a mother has formed and taste to see if the wine has turned into vinegar. If it has, siphon some it off and use for a salad dressing or in your cooking and then replace with some more wine. To check if the mother has formed, first make sure that you remove any jewellery from your fingers (and never use any metal spoons inside the pot or barrel). Carefully strain the contents of the pot or barrel through a plastic colander or sieve into a large non-metallic bowl. If a mother has formed and is left in the colander, carefully place back in the pot or barrel and add the contents from the non-metallic bowl.

Thank you for reading this post and stay safe and wash your hand’s xx

About Carol Taylor: 

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx



Christmas Recipes.

Well, it’s that time of year so I thought I would post a few of our Christmas family favourites: Christmas pudding should be made now really and it’s something the kids can help with they like to stir and it’s supposed to be lucky.

Christmas Pudding:

Christmas Pudding


  • 300g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
  • 350g raisins
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 250g suet
  • 225g Demerara sugar
  • 225g sultanas
  • 225g currants
  • 2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated
  • (sh)Wet ingredients
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small wine glass of brandy and a tad more..haha
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Let’s Cook!

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together,  with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the brandy using a long match and tip over the pudding and enjoy it!

What do we eat with our Christmas Turkey? Bread Sauce…living here in Phuket we were surprised how few of our friends even knew what this was so I am assuming it is an old English country recipe it was one my mum handed down to me. I always save any spare bits of bread in a bag in the freezer ( It is better to use stale bread).


About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint milk.

Let’s Cook!:

Pour milk into a saucepan and add the studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.


Chicken Pate:


  • 220g/8oz  butter.

  • 4 shallots chopped.

  • 2  cloves, crushed or finely chopped.

  • 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.

  • 1 tbsp Brandy.

  • 1 tsp mustard powder.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 bay leaf, to garnish.

  • 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.

Let’s Cook!:

Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.

Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as I cannot always get fresh bay leaves.

Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.

Pickled  Onions.  There is nothing like your own crispy pickled onions… I use shallots…




  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar..I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbls Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Let’s, Pickle

2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilized jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour over vinegar making sure onions are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop-bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for now …next time it will be a family favorite Prawn Cocktail which I have to make on pain of death, my son will not let me away with it..” you always make it mum” so mum does…haha and Mince Pies of which it wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie or two and Sausage Rolls which my mum always makes but here I have to make own…. and my big son…teases me over Skype with nans sausage rolls and I must admit no one makes them like my mummy…