Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'm a complete sucker for PBS. Big surprise there. I was at home knitting the other night and found myself watching this cooking show called Daisy Cooks! Ms. Daisy started talking so enthusiastically about this condiment she grew up with called "vinagre" and made the bold claim that she would live without ketchup before she'd live without vinagre.

I was hooked.

I think God really wanted me to try out this concoction because Tim Felton showed up to my house on Monday with the key ingredient of vinagre: pineapple. Who buys pineapple in December??? Like I said, this was divine intervention.

Daisy claims you can use vinagre on just about anything. I haven't actually eaten anything with it yet, but I think I'm going to cook some pork chops and then spoon the peppers and onions from the vinagre on top. I did taste it, however, and it's pretty wild!

My belief in the divine fruition (pun intended) of this recipe was evidenced last night by the fact that I was actually hugging the quart of vinagre will singing its praises to my husband. Winter in Indiana will do strange things to a person....

2 ripe pineapples
1/2 large Spanish onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon smashed fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
20 garlic cloves, crushed
6 Habanero peppers or chili pepper of your choice, stems cut off, peppers coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar, or as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed

1. Cut the tops off the pineapples and discard them. With a big knife, cut off the rind from the pineapples with as little pineapple attached as possible. Put the rinds in a pot large enough to hold them comfortably and pour in enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and boil until the pineapple peel is very tender, about 30 minutes. Top off with water if necessary to keep the rinds submerged.

2. Meanwhile, put the onion, oregano, peppercorns, garlic, Habanero or other chili pepper, vinegar, and salt in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid.

3. Strain the pineapple liquid over the seasonings. If there is not enough liquid to cover the ingredients, re-cover the pineapple with water and boil for 20 minutes. Taste and add a little salt and/or a little vinegar, if you think it needs it. You can use it as soon as it cools, but it will get better as it sits.