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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Raspberry Vinegar

We eat a lot of salads and by far prefer homemade salad dressing or vinaigrettes as a topping.  A basic vinaigrette consists of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts oil and binder (mustard, sugar or honey).  Seasonings of choice and/or finely chopped vegetables (eg. onions, sundried tomatoes, sweet or hot peppers) can be added to the basic vinaigrette.  You can even add cheese (eg. Parmesan or blue cheese).  Xanthan gum can be added to give a thicker texture if desired.  With this in mind you can create an endless number of vinaigrettes simply by using a little creativity.

raspberry vinegar
Homemade fruit or herb vinegars are an excellent way to expand the flavours of vinaigrette you can make.  Several years ago we discovered a delicious restaurant house dressing that was a raspberry vinaigrette.  I've been hooked on making fruit vinegars ever since to use as a base in some of my homemade vinaigrettes.

Homemade vinegars are very easy to make.  I find berries work best but you could use crushed pears or apples or basically any fruit you desire.  We are particularly fond of raspberry vinaigrette made from homemade raspberry vinegar.

Homemade Fruit Vinegars
source:  Garden Gnome

Wash about 2 c of the desired fruit.  Peel and pit if necessary.  Lightly crush the fruit.  Pour into a 1 - L mason jar.  Pour 5% acetic acid vinegar over the fruit leaving a half inch headspace..  You can use any vinegar you want as long as it is 5% acetic acid.  Different vinegars will give different flavour results.  Cap and shake the jar well.  Place in a cool, dark area.  Shake at least a couple of times a week.  Let sit for at least 4 weeks.  Strain the vinegar.  Place in a saucepan.  Bring just to a boil.  Ladle into hot jars.  Adjust two piece metal snap lids (or Tattler reusable lids or glass inserts).  Screw bands on jars (adjust accordingly if not using metal snap lids).  Process for 250 ml for 10 minutes in BWB canner at altitudes up to 1,000 feet above sea level.  At higher altitudes refer to altitude adjustment chart on Canning FYI page.  Remove from canner.  Adjust bands if using Tattler or glass inserts.  Allow to cool 24 hours.  Remove bands and test for seal.  Wash and dry bands and jars.  Label and store.

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