Eighteen days ago, I thought to mix up some fire cider inspired by the profusion of parsley growing in our garden. I buried the jars in the garden, swaddled in old clothes, inspired by the magic this method worked on the garlic ginger syrup. I just dug it out to enjoy during the equinox yesterday and was not disappointed! Regular fire cider is tasty as it is, but this version has a little something extra special 🥰The basic ingredients for fire cider are apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, horseradish, onion, and hot peppers. That said there are many variations to play with.
Sliced lemons, herbs such as parsley, thyme, and rosemary, fresh turmeric, a stick of cinnamon, a sprinkle of cloves all add to the cider’s benefits and flavors, I usually work with what I have on hand.
Another thing I’ll do is replace the apple cider vinegar with apple cider vinegar that’s already been infused with foraged plants such as lambs quarters, nettles, and garlic mustard; again I work with what’s on hand. If I think ahead, which sometimes happens, I’ll set up a batch of apple cider vinegar with thyme, plantain, lambs quarters, nasturtium leaves or other such combinations in advance so that it’s ready when I’m fire cidering . . . and if I don’t, then that’s okay.
A small shot glass a day serves as an excellent tonic or I’ll take a teaspoons worth thrice a day if I feel a cold coming on; it assists the immune system as an ally. I’ll also add fire cider to stir fried rice, salad dressings, or mix a few tablespoons in hot water as a sipper on cold days. I like to nibble on the plants as I go along, then strain it when it’s done and blend it to a paste to use as a chicken marinade or add a tablespoon of the paste to stir fry for a spicy zing. When using lemons, they taste really good as a ‘preserved’ lemon.
If you’d like to try it for yourself, here is the recipe . . . and burying it is entirely optional. If you do, swaddle your jar in a towel and then an old piece of clothing. Dig a hole big enough to embrace your bundle, sing a song, and place it in the earth, covering it up with soil. Leave it for seventeen days, dig out, and enjoy.
To make basic fire cider with a simple folk method:
3 knobs fresh sliced ginger
1 -2 sticks peeled, grated horseradish
12 or more cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
A big bunch parsley, chopped
1 1/2 largish red onions, sliced or chopped
Cayenne pepper to taste, I use 1 tsp.
Layer everything in a half-gallon canning jar and add honey 1/3 of the way then add raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar about 2/3 of the way, everything should be submerged and under liquid by about 3 to 4 inches.
Poke it with a long knife to release air and cover with more vinegar or honey if needed.
Cap with a tight fitting lid.
Let it sit three to four weeks.
Shake from time to time.
After three to four weeks, it’s ready to use.
Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated when stored in a cool dry place; mine have lasted upto a year.