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Jeri Woodhouse of Taste of the North Fork at North Fork Specialty Kitchen in Cutchogue. (Credit: Carrie Miller)
Jeri Woodhouse of Taste of the North Fork at North Fork Specialty Kitchen in Cutchogue. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Why top all your fresh, local produce with commercially prepared vinaigrette when you can make your own?

According to food experts, it’s easy to do using ingredients typically found in most kitchens. 

Jeri Woodhouse, an organic farmer and owner of A Taste of the North Fork in Southold, has teamed up with master food preserver Mark Vosburgh of Hallockville Museum Farm for a series of cooking programs the pair calls “Preserving the Harvest.” On May 3, they taught a vinaigrette class at Ms. Woodhouse’s North Fork Specialty Kitchen in Cutchogue, where many of the products sold at her store are made.

Designed for novice chefs and experienced cooks alike, Saturday’s class provided students with a basic understanding of the many ways to infuse flavors into vinegar and how to create homemade vinaigrettes using ingredients commonly grown in backyard gardens.

“You would be surprised how many products contain vinegar,” Ms. Woodhouse said. She explained that vinegar — which results from the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria — was used as a medical disinfectant in World War I and during outbreaks of bubonic plague in the 14th century.

And while Ms. Woodhouse said it takes around 25 years to make a basic balsamic, you can create your own infused vinegar in just two weeks.

Here are some tips for getting started.

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