We know how you feel: Times are tough, and you don't have money to buy a Corvette mouse and get some great tasting vinegar. What to do? You may not be able to make your own Corvette mouse, but did you know it’s possible to make your own vinegar? Of course! People were making vinegar before the Industrial Revolution, before the automobile, even before the Internet. How hard can it be? Exactly.
Here at SparkNotes, we like to show our patriotic side whenever we can, especially when it doesn't really mean anything. And what's more patriotic than apples? So here’s our simple recipe for making SparkNotes study-free apple vinegar. All you need is some apple cores, water, a jar, and time. A clothespin might not hurt, either (we’ll get to that later).
Step 1: Begin by collecting apple cores and/or peelings. It’s better to gather a bunch at the same time, rather than letting them accumulate under your bed. And it's best to grab them off the counter when someone’s making apple pie or apple crisp or apple potato chips or something similarly apple-based. Failing that, rob a dumpster behind a bakery or cafeteria.
Step 2: Stick the apple leavings in a glass jar, and then fill the jar with water. Here’s the tricky part, and it’s not that tricky: Tightly cover the mouth of the jar with some cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth lying around, a white dishtowel should do. A Mason jar with just the ring over the top will work best, but you can get away with using a tight rubber band to hold it down.
Step 3: Stick the jar on a shelf and wait. And wait. About two months total, so it’s probably best if you take occasional breaks from simply waiting. Learn a new hobby, like pickling.
While you're waiting, things are going to get a little gross. Green mold will form on the surface of the water. It’s possible that at some point the liquid will bubble over. And it might smell kind of bad for a while. Hence the clothespin. Affix it to your nose.
But the benefit to fermenting vinegar in your room is that it can help repel parents or roommates. And after a couple of months, you’re the proud owner of as much apple vinegar as you’ve chosen to make.
This raises the question of what to do with apple vinegar, but that can probably wait until another post. You’ve got a couple of months to kill, after all.