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I suggest trying a health food store or Whole Foods.

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I suggest trying a health food store or Whole Foods.

I believe I have seen it at Whole Foods, but I can't swear to that.

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Thanks all. The recipe called for a few other items that we would need to seek out, so we're going with a different recipe. I'll keep it in mind for the next time!

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Anyone know somewhere not too far from Arlington, Va where you can get starter "mother"for vinegar?  I want to make my own red wine vinegar.

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Anyone know somewhere not too far from Arlington, Va where you can get starter "mother"for vinegar?  I want to make my own red wine vinegar.

I do it by buying a bottle of an unfiltered cider vinegar at WF or another natural foods market, and using up or carefully pouring off the vinegar from the top of the bottle and retaining the "unfiltered" portion at the bottom of the bottle, which contains mother. Then top off the bottle with red wine and leave it sit for about a month. Voila. Continue to top off the bottle with left over red wine indefinitely.

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I do it by buying a bottle of an unfiltered cider vinegar at WF or another natural foods market, and using up or carefully pouring off the vinegar from the top of the bottle and retaining the "unfiltered" portion at the bottom of the bottle, which contains mother. Then top off the bottle with red wine and leave it sit for about a month. Voila. Continue to top off the bottle with left over red wine indefinitely.

Thank you!!  I had amazing red wine vinegar in Croatia, and decided I needed to make my own, this sounds even simpler than the Bon Appetit method!

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I do it by buying a bottle of an unfiltered cider vinegar at WF or another natural foods market, and using up or carefully pouring off the vinegar from the top of the bottle and retaining the "unfiltered" portion at the bottom of the bottle, which contains mother. Then top off the bottle with red wine and leave it sit for about a month. Voila. Continue to top off the bottle with left over red wine indefinitely.

How much does the quality of the wine affect the quality of the vinegar produced? What type of wine do you prefer? (Please keep in mind that i know almost zippo about wine.)

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farmer John, the better the wine, the better the wine vinegar, within reason. Gabriele Rausse, vintner at Monticello, occasionally teaches vinegar making at their annual Heritage Harvest Festival, and shared the most amazing wine vinegar made from Sangiovese wine. If it's tasty, and drinkable, it makes great vinegar. I am partial to wine vinegar made from fruit forward, intense tannic reds.

I think he said he smuggled his mother of vinegar from Italy, but maybe he was joking.

I do intend to buy a small sideways oak barrel one day, as that's better than glass for making vinegar. Pour the wine in the bunghole on top, decant the vinegar via a spout on the side. But the glass method works. I keep the bottle in a dark cabinet and put a paper towel secured with a rubber band on top to keep out fruit flies.

Sandor Katz recommends using 25% raw, live vinegar (e.g. Bragg's apple cider vinegar) to a batch and sealing with wax when done (2-4 weeks) because the acetobacter will eventually turn it into water and carbon dioxide. The less formal method used by Zora and me has led, in my observation, to relatively random results, but usually satisfying.

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Kirby cucumbers, unwaxed, preferably organically grown?  Dill heads?  In Virginia only.  I assume they're showing up in farmer's markets, but not mine.

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One vendor had dill at the Crystal City farmers market this week and it did have the yellow seed heads attached. I bought the one and only bunch he had for sale. I thought that was very strange.

As for "Kirby cukes"......I remember reading a cookbook in the very early spring and they were going on and on about Kirbys, so I consulted all my seed catalogs and favorite companies and couldn't find anyone selling Kirby cucumbers. Then I found this note online:

Kirby Cucumbers is now a generic term for any small cucumber sold for pickling

Again at the Crystal City farmers market, they had some small cukes, but not a huge amount, and they weren't specifically pickling cukes. The best ones they had for pickling were the white ones which are a little shorter and stockier than the regular kind.

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Pickling cucumbers, including Kirby, have a thinner skin and a smaller seed, so they make crisper pickles than slicing tomatoes.  They have a distinctive look, short, narrow in diameter, and typically a spiny skin rather than warty.  I know I've seen baskets of them at the end of the season going dirt cheap, but I am in the mood to pickle some now.

Similarly, dill heads are something you are more likely to see in later summer.

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I prefer the flavor of dill weed, not seed. I've been pinching my dill plants so they won't flower. No cucumbers of any kind yet, in the farmers markets here in Maine.

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Rennet. I tried to make homemade cultured cottage cheese. You mix milk, buttermilk and rennet and leave on the counter for 12-16 hours. Nothing happened. Turns out rennet has a shelf life. 24 months for tablets, 9 months for liquids. Mine is so old it doesn't have a date stamp. Perhaps decades.

Btw, after letting it culture there are many other steps. Complicated but there are videos on YouTube. A lot of work but I am craving that cultured flavor but using full fat milk, not skim.

Edit: found it at Moms in Merrifield.

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I prefer the flavor of dill weed, not seed. I've been pinching my dill plants so they won't flower. No cucumbers of any kind yet, in the farmers markets here in Maine.

Zora - This is the first year I'm growing dill and I don't really know what I'm doing. If you keep pinching the tops, will you be able to keep harvesting the fronds(?) for the entire season (like basil) or do you need to do succession plantings?

I have a second and third crop started, but if I can get away with a single planting for the full season, I'd rather do that.

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I used to order Carolina Gold Rice from Amazon, but can no longer find it on there, anyone know where I can get it without paying about $10 in shipping fees? (Well you can get it parboiled on there which isn't what I want, and I could pay $10 for shipping from Carolina Plantation.)

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I used to order Carolina Gold Rice from Amazon, but can no longer find it on there, anyone know where I can get it without paying about $10 in shipping fees? (Well you can get it parboiled on there which isn't what I want, and I could pay $10 for shipping from Carolina Plantation.)

I usually get it from Anson Mills, but there is a minimum order and I buy it in combination with other things.  I can't remember what their shipping charge is, but I stock up when I order, so it doesn't bother me.  Their Carolina Gold rice is quite good.

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What Pat said. Carolina Gold kicks Charleston Gold booty. Other exquisite Anson Mills items, Sea Island beans, oats, polenta, grits. I luurve Anson Mills products and their online recipes. It's that time of year (getting cooler) to order some lovely Anson Mills carbs. I gotta limit carbs, so when I do carb, Anson Mills it is.

(Well, let's don't talk about my Dominoes gluten free pizza habit. I can stop whenever I want to, honest.)

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I usually get it from Anson Mills, but there is a minimum order and I buy it in combination with other things.  I can't remember what their shipping charge is, but I stock up when I order, so it doesn't bother me.  Their Carolina Gold rice is quite good.

It's $11.28 for a few different items rice, flour, peas, etc.  I think I will wait till I am getting low on some things then maybe put in a big order.  I also saw just FYI that Foods of all Nation has Charleston Gold, so if worst comes to worst and I have been really lazy, I will get some the next time I see my in-laws.  Have either of you tried the Laurel-Aged Gold Rice?

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Any thoughts about where I might find a fresh turkey in NoVa in October?  We have a new smoker and plan on smoking the Thanksgiving turkey this year, but want to do a trial run in advance.  My understanding is that thawed frozen poultry is not great on the smoker and we need an unbrined bird.   

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Any thoughts about where I might find a fresh turkey in NoVa in October?  We have a new smoker and plan on smoking the Thanksgiving turkey this year, but want to do a trial run in advance.  My understanding is that thawed frozen poultry is not great on the smoker and we need an unbrined bird.

I've smoked some pretty fine ex-frozen turkeys and breasts. I'm curious what your concern is? Is the skin better?

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Our smoker cookbook indicates that the texture is not as good with frozen poultry.  I am not expecting great skin on a smoked bird, but if you've had good results, all the better.

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Does anyone know where I might find a fresh, not frozen, capon for Thanksgiving? Preferably without driving more than an hour from Washington and an hour back.

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