So a few days ago, during an evening walk, I came across a stand of beautiful white pine trees. Ian watched in semi-horror as I pulled a few needles off the tree and began to chew them.
What?? They taste really good! Go try it right now. RIGHT NOW.
See? They’re good.
Super astringent (they’ll make your mouth pucker and dry out like crazy), but they are packed with vitamin C. Ian eventually tried it and sort of I think liked them a little bit maybe. Whatever, I think they’re great.
But guess what’s EVEN BETTER than eating raw pine needles? Making a vinegar from them!! ‘Tis simple to do, and the finished product tastes quite a lot like balsamic vinegar (except more fresh and piney and exciting…like a balsamic that grew up in the mountains and had lots of adventures and a pet eagle and that kind of stuff).
Here are the super complicated instructions for making it:
1. FIND A WHITE PINE.
2. Stuff a jar full of the needles
3. Fill the jar with a good organic apple cider vinegar (be sure to cover the needles)
4. Cap. Use a plastic lid, as the vinegar will erode metal. If you don’t have a fancy plastic mason jar lid, just put a sheet of wax paper under the lid/around the rim and cap.
5. Label the jar and tuck it lovingly into a cool, dark place. Check it once in a while – just give it a quick shake and make sure all the needles are still covered.
6. After six weeks, strain out the needles and bottle the vinegar. I save old salad dressing bottles and put my home made vinegars in them, ’cause I’m classy like that.
7. ENJOY!! The vinegar makes an awesome, simple dressing for salads, especially when mixed with olive oil. Mmmm.