You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, according to the old saying.
I’ve never actually noticed a cloud of flies hanging round my breakfast honey, but I’ll go along with it, as it makes sense that you’ll get better results by being nice to people. In theory, anyway.
In practice you can also get pretty good results by scaring the hell out of people. History has plenty of examples of dictators who ruled with an iron fist but not many who used a troop of comedians as enforcers. When the Romans spoke of “bread and circuses” they weren’t talking about clowns – although a dictator backed up by a gang of clowns could be quite scary.
However, I digress.
I have just been looking at the cider vinegar jars.
As you can probably see, all the liquid is looking pretty much the same and, although you can’t tell, they are all smelling pretty much the same. They also have a fine selection of flies floating on top.
So, to summarise, cider vinegar production seems to be going well, but next time I want something to cover jars I will use something with a smaller mesh. I used some bandage from an old first aid kit, which seemed like a good idea at the time, and cheaper than muslin, but it hasn’t really worked.
I’ve also been testing the ginger.
Two weeks ago it was more fibrous than the shop-bought variety, and tasted a little earthy. At the time I thought I’d probably boil the ginger more and change the water, as recommended in some of the recipes. However, two weeks later the earthiness has disappeared. It’s still a bit fibrous, but I’m not bothered about that. It tastes good, it’s got a good degree of heat to it and the syrup has taken on a good colour.
I think we’ll call this one a success, though there is one problem remaining – I made it to give away at Christmas, but now I want it all for myself.