I found a mother in the balsamic, oh my!

So I’m back in the USA  for 24 hours now.  The cold here in New Hampshire is awful, how I long to be back in Costa Rica!  My mouth is still a bit tender. I learned at the airport yesterday, that Nacho’s are not my friend. I tried and they’re way too hard to chew with the temporary crowns, the gums are still tender. In general, there’s no constant pain, but I do always feel that something has been done and when I bite down on certain things, well….let’s say I’m going to be careful and avoid.  Last night we had pasta with meatballs, no problem. I tossed a salad and avoided it, even though I shredded the carrots, it just didn’t look like it would ‘feel’ right, not quite yet.  Same thing for the water pic, I’m using it on low and slow.  Overall, my smile looks great. The temporaries  are a perfect match to the rest of my smile and they look like the real thing, only better!

So, where does this blog go in the interim. Food seems right, like all the things you can and can’t after major dental surgery? Crazy food holidays? Unique dining spots?

Well, as I contemplated  on whether I should focus on food, last night it came to me…in the form of a ‘mother’.  Let me explain.  I was concocting a salad dressing for dinner last night, pulled out the bottle of balsamic I keep in the pantry and lo and behold, there’s this gelatinous mess in it.  I tasted it, it was fine.  So, I went ahead and made a dressing with it.  Later, I started googling what could this be in my balsamic vinegar and first thing that jumped out at me was ‘congratulations‘…that really got my curiosity up. Turns out, if you want to make homemade vinegar, you need a ‘mother’. Having a vinegar mother is kinda like having a sour dough starter, but it’s a vinegar starter.  Now, I don’t know why I now have a mother except for I usually kept my balsamic next to the stove and I moved it a month or so ago into the pantry, and mothers like the dark (it’s a

Balsamic 'mother'

clear bottle).  I think this mother loved the spot, since when I look in the bottle it looks like I might have 3 mothers in this bottle, each about 2″x2″ square and about 1/4 inch think (the bottle is tall and about 2″ square in diameter). I’m also not sure how I will get them out of the bottle  without breaking the bottle or the mother, which I don’t want to do as it’s an awesome decorative bottle. If anyone reading this can offer some insight before I potentially hurt ‘mother’, I’m all ears on how to get ‘her’ out of the bottle and what to do with ‘her’ once I do! You can bet the research into mothers will continue and I’ll be digging thru the wine fridge for a bottle of syrah to be my vinegar ‘starter’! This article from Sunset.com seems to be a good resource on making your own vinegar.  I’ll let you know how I do with this latest culinary adventure!

So, today is National Fig Newton Day, my dear Steve won’t be jumping up and down for this one…one of the few things he says he’s not fond of and they’re probably too chewy for me.  However, it is also International Hot and Spicy Day, something both Steve and my daughter were excited to hear. So, tonight, we’ll be making spicy homemade veggie burgers (my daughter’s request) and topping them with a homemade salsa of some sort, maybe we’ll use the balsamic!

Cheers!   Karen


3 thoughts on “I found a mother in the balsamic, oh my!

  1. I would prop the bottle up at a 45 degree angle over/within another container. I think that Mother Earth’s gravity would help that mother slide her gelantenous goodness out ❤ Welcome home dear friend!

    • Hi Kristi,That will be my first attempt to get her out. I’ll try to strain it thru some cheesecloth. First I need to go out and find a suitable ‘crock’ to start my own batch of vinegar in. I was looking online and most of the crocks I see recommended have a spigot at the bottom so you can decant the vinegar. Anyway, sounds like a Williams and Sonoma run to me! Thanks for the suggestion! Have you ever made homemade vinegar?

      • The new Vinegar has been started. I managed to get ‘mother’ out of the bottle using a chopstick, she was quite flexible. I poured them out over a cheesecloth lined strainer, so I was able to siphon off the balsamic that I can still use. I put her (actually ‘them’, there were 4 mothers in this bottle) in a wide mouth canning jar, so it will be a little easier to remove next time. I used them all, since I was reading conflicting things on how mothers sink to the bottom when they are no longer ‘useful’ (oh boy, do I know a few people who would love to play with some of these lines!). Anyway, topped them with a nice syrah and put them back into the dark. One thing, between them being dark balsamic mothers and the dark red wine, it’s not really easy to see what’s going on in the jar. Maybe that’s a good thing.

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