I found myself having a bit of a Stitch It! moment the other day when I declared to Matthew that vinegar was one of my Faaaaaaaaaaaavourite Things, then signed contentedly and gazed with true fondness at my ever growing collection of vinegars. Balsamicos, cider, malt, red wine, white wine, rice… You name it and the likelihood of finding it in my kitchen cupboard is high. Best thing about them, outside delicious dressings and deglazers? Their sheer genius versatility. Here are two of my faaaaaaaaaaaavourite vinegar tips.
Use vinegar to keep your pastry puffed and preserved to perfection. A dash of vinegar in your pastry has been championed by everyone from my mum to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and I couldn’t agree more. You don’t need much, about 2 teaspoons per ‘pie’ amount, but it reacts with all the other ingredients sufficiently to remain undetectable in any way but for the raised delicate crumb and eversoslight goldening powers. Your pastry will never be the same.
Gnats be gone, with a simple vinegar solution. If you find yourself swarmed by clouds of tiny black flies every time you go into your garden, you know just how irritating gnats are — mostly harmless but damn if they don’t shoot up your nose every time you inhale. One very simple solution to this problem is to leave a few jars or shallow dishes around the garden filled with about an inch of vinegar and a few drops of dish detergent. They apparently love the scent of vinegar but will find the detergent too sticky to be able to fly off to meet you when they see the back door open. You can leave these jars open or cover with a thin layer of cling film, punctured with a few holes. The flies will enter through the holes, but are unlikely to find they’re way back out.