White vinegar (Recipe: peach salsa)
A fun thing to know about white vinegar:
If you believe Mary Poppins (and who doesn't?), a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but did you know that a spoonful of white vinegar helps meringues go up? It also helps set the color of vegetables when you're boiling or blanching; helps add moisture to chocolate cakes; helps keep frosting white and shiny; helps keep eggs from cracking as they're boiling; and helps perk up wilted vegetables (soak them in cold water with a teaspoon of white vinegar).
So, take your medicine if you must, but keep white vinegar (which isn't really white; it's clear) in your pantry for everything else.
In the cupboard, at room temperature, indefinitely. Vinegar is a natural preservative.
Every summer my friend Lucia makes this peach salsa, and I make black bean and peach salsa soup. This year, I delivered the peaches from our friends Bob and Charlotte, who have a couple of very lovely peach trees, to Lucia, who adapted this recipe from That's My Home and gave me a precious jar of salsa, some which I'm going to turn into a barbecue sauce for Bob and Charlotte. Good deal, all around. Makes 5-6 cups.
6 cups of peeled and diced peaches
1-1/4 cups diced red onion
4 jalapeño peppers, minced (or less, to taste)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed and then chopped
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients in a heavy, nonreactive pot. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Either pack into hot, sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath; or store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to two weeks.
Other recipes that use white vinegar:
Rolled gingerbread cookies, from The Cooking Photographer
Carne asada, from Simply Recipes
Cucumbers in sour cream, from Rah Cha Chow
Red velvet cake, from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Salt and vinegar broiled fingerling potatoes, from Umami Girl