Also on p232 is a recipe for pickled vegetables, which use spiced vinegar as an ingredient. I had some of Mum's lovely home-grown capsicums, and decided that I could use these as well as my home-made spiced vinegar to make pickled veges.
From that point on, the process was pretty simple: Pour the vinegar into a pot, bung in all the spices, and boil for 10 minutes. My kitchen smelt absolutely beautiful, but the fumes were pretty pungent when I got my face directly in the steam from the pot - if you've ever breathed in the fumes from a pot of mulled wine, it's a fairly similar experience.
You can use the spiced vinegar immediately, but I left mine to steep for a couple of days, which is recommended for a richer flavour. Meanwhile, I collected up the vege I wanted to pickle.
The veges need to be chopped up, sprinkled with salt and left for 12 hours before blanching and pickling. This meant I had to either salt them in the evening and pickle them in the morning before work, or salt them in the morning and do the pickling in the evening. Faced with these alternatives, I chose to do the less labour-intensive part this morning. I got up at 6am, (that may seem early but it's actually only 20 minutes earlier than usual) to chop and salt the veges before jumping in the shower. Easy.
Once the jar was ready, I piled all the veges into it and poured over the vinegar. I was expecting a grotty looking brown mess, but I have to admit, it looks pretty cool. I have to wait a minimum of 3 weeks before using them, so only time will tell if my pickled veges are a success!