Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Brandied Fruit Phase.

He said he was throwing out some pineapple that had fermented 'accidentally.' Among the people I know, nothing ferments accidentally but giving him the benefit of the doubt, I thought about the time my Mom made what she called brandied fruit. It went something like this.

As you can see, the starter recipe makes two cups, but you only need one for the sauce. The usual thing is to give the other cup to a friend. That's how my Mom got it.

Mom was not into cooking. She went for efficiency and, with six kids, volume. The woman who gave her the starter had served it at some gathering and Mom liked the taste. It appealed to her because it was easy and involved alcohol.

The sauce takes a week to work so there was a lot of build up at the house. We were all kids, adolescents on down. Mom explained to us about fermentation and how the sauce had a tiny amount of alcohol in it. We had tasted cider that had 'accidentally' fermented, so we knew that flavor.

When the time finally came to try it, the sauce was a big success. I'm sure someone didn't like it, but I did. It was a good topping for ice cream or pound cake and the zing got a little zingier as time went by.

When the sauce gets down to a certain point, or after two weeks whichever comes first, you have to refresh it by adding more fruit and sugar. If you don't it will quickly rot away into garbage. If you keep it going, more sauce will be ready in another week, so it's a three week cycle.

At first we were finishing it well before the two weeks were up, but after eating it with what seemed like every meal, it began to not taste so good and we were no longer excited about having it.

The recipe says don't refrigerate, but Mom figured out you could slow it down by refrigerating it. you could slow it down, but you could not stop it.

Finally, we petitioned for relief, the experiment was discontinued, and we never ate brandied fruit again.

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