I like making anything I can from scratch. Sure, I can go down to the local grocery store and pick up most anything that I want or need but I really like the satisfaction that comes with making it myself. I also believe that a lot a people, including myself, need to do more of this to pass it down for future generations. I am not talking about sitting them down and explaining all the ins and outs or insisting that this is the only way to do things. Just by making them aware that things can be made, and that the added bonuses are that they are less likely to be full of chemicals (if it comes from your garden) and that it is a lot cheaper to make your own. I work in a high school and it continually amazes me how many young people have no idea how to make even basic foods or even where they come from.
We rely too much on our marketing system to provide for us. We need to be more self-sufficient and to extricate ourselves from a lot of questionable farming products and manufactured foods. I don't think at this point in time that any of us could or would want to be completely independent of the greater world but some self-sustainability could go a long way to making the world a healthier place both for us and the land.
That said, I realize that imported pineapples are not local but I have wanted to try to make some pineapple vinegar for the longest time and up until now, I have always composted the peels. (Yes - I feel somewhat guilty after my little rant!) Today, my desire to make vinegar finally came to fruition. I had two lovely pineapples to cut up. I saved the peelings and put them, well chopped, into a two quart jar. I had already added about 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the non-chlorinated water so just poured it in. It now sits covered, on my countertop. Covering something like this is important. It needs oxygen to breathe, so a clean cloth is necessary. As well, the cloth has to be secured down to keep those pesky little fruit flies out!
I understand that it has to now sit for a couple weeks, be strained and then sit again in a dark place to develop into vinegar. This is very similiar to what I did to make cider vinegar, except I actually used organic apple juice rather than the apple peels to make it. My other vinegars - red and white wine, cider, and malt - are surprisingly good. We are especially enamoured with the white wine vinegar for our salads and the cider on our homemade fries.
I will post the pineapple vinegar's progress as the weeks go on.