Feb 1, 2009

Make Your Own

It seems the 'in' thing to do in times of economic depression - it saves a few bucks and even sounds sexy - "my, you're making your own wine? Can we try some?"
Of course it takes more than patience and time to grow your own Merlot and label the vintage years. Before I'm home Mum had already started her own fruit vinegar project and multipurpose enzymatic detergent project. Both of them does save our family a few bucks, but ever since the Chinese milk contamination scandal, I've been extra cautious with everything without a certification from the Ministry of Health. And to see that the vinegar fermentation process is totally performed in an agak-agak method (estimation and follow your senses) is like being teleported back to the middle ages. As a science learning person I do not wean or believe in anything without a reasonable and scientific explanation. Hence I was strongly against the make your own everything project led by Mum.
However, I soon have to give in to the fun. You see, these 'housewives errands' are extremely time-consuming and even boring to a certain extent, but it gives you great pleasure when you have nothing to do for the entire day - my ex-classmate is acting big boss since he has a girlfriend now, and there isn't anything much on screen nor in the cinema until next week - so when Dad tempted me with a trip to Cold Storage, I broke down and bought RM30 worth of grapes for the latest (and to date most expensive) fruit vinegar project.

Before this during winter solstice they'd already gone with their all-natural tang-yuan project - the coloring is all but the most natural ingredients: white is of course, plain flour; green is from the pandan juice; yellow from pumpkin juice; blue from a type of flower; and red from dragon fruit.

This is Mum's apple-and-carrot fruit vinegar. Left to mature for 14 days or more - on day 14 it'll be plain vinegar, and as time goes on the composition of alcohol rises. We could become a winery someday.

And to make the process more 'scientific', according to Mum, they use a beaker.

And here is my RM30 worth of grapes. Mum says 'must add lemon to kill the bacteria'.

And here you go - bottom level: a single layer of lemon slices, then a layer of unrefined cane sugar, and in go all your fruits - Mum insisted upon arranging the grapes layer by layer, and "with utmost care and love" so that they will turn out winning an award; my babysitter said she just dumped in everything she can grab.

By the third layer of grapes I was already aching all over and the dinner table all sticky from grape juice and melted cane sugar. It was not as fun as I thought. Of course, the remaining layers were slowly and carefully arranged with the help of my cousin. Now we'd have to nourish it with all the care and love to get it awarded a Bordeaux Grand Cru (for grape vinegar).
And speak of make your own everything. I woke up today to find my Dad and 5th aunt in our kitchen early morning on a 3-day ang-ku making project. Seems we'd be pushing out a line of food and utensils under the brand name 'Sim', very soon.


Chen Yi said...

well, i wouldn't mind giving the Sim products a try.. hahaha

sze ping said...

what do you do with all that vinegar?

JYSim said...

Minum of course!

sze ping said...

not sour meh? but yea my mum is also into this enzyme from fruit thingy, just that she uses fruit peels so we still get to eat the fruit first

dorayen said...

seems like your mum and my mum have the same interest..
these housewives arr..
cannot tahan them!!