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NOTE: This was an unpublished draft that for one reason or another I did not publish on the date given. In order to clear out my draft folder on 12-16-2013 I chose to publish it. However, I won't vouch for the completeness or accuracy of it, and it most likely does not reflect my opinion anymore.

It takes a few years of learning from one's mistakes but here's what I know:

Vinegar- I've been making my own white and red wine vinegar after getting some 'mother of vinegar' from eBay. What I do is water down the leftover wine, also known as opened wine that's been sitting around to long, till it's about 5-6% alcohol, put it in a large pickle jar, throw in the mother, cover it with a paper towel held down by the jar top or a rubber band, plop it in a dark cool spot that doesn't vibrate (freezers, fridges, things with motors vibrate) and forget about it. In about a few weeks I check to see if a another mother has formed on the top. Also don't stick them in a small room, the smell can be overpowering. After 3 months I get my vinegar. If I want to avoid having a mother grow inside my vinegar dispenser, I have to strain and heat (don't boil) it. I have found the mother is useful in discouraging ants outside.

Salad- Around this time is a good time to plant arugula. I don't plant in nice rows. One year my method was to take a handful of arugula seed and throw it against the house. This year I decided to boadcast them in one section of the yard. This method might work if you have good soil. Right now I have baby arugula. I thin them out by eating them. I grab a bunch, pull them out and cut off their little roots.  There is also salad growing from seeds planted in the Fall, but it is getting to it's last legs. The Fall arugula is flowering, and the flowers are edible. The Fall planted mesclun is getting leggy. Years before when it would get hotter and they'd get tall I'd toss them because the leaves tasted bitter. I found out if I washed them in cold, cold water, then sat them in the fridge the bitterness is greatly reduced. They aren't sweet as they were in Spring, but they aren't bitter. I can say now that about 1/2 of the salad we've eaten at home this year has come out of the yard. The corn salad has gone to seed. Corn salad is good in Winter and Spring. The only problem with Winter is they are frozen in the pots and impossible to harvest.

Cherry Liquor/ Boozy Cherries- The boozy fruit has it's fans. Take large quart or bigger jar, fill with unblemished unpitted cherries. Fill about 1/2 a jar. Then cover with sugar. Try to get a layer of sugar on top. Throw in a vanilla pod. Then pour in to the top, good vodka. Ignore for 3 months in the back of a closet or on top of the fridge (kind of hard to ignore there). In the end you have boozy fruit, which people love and cherry liquor, which is okay. You can have the boozy fruit sit around longer than 3 months if you want.

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