Vinegar will work beautifully in your kitchen if you take advantage of its good moods as you would a cantankerous relative. Vinegar would prefer to be appreciated like a wine.But it's not recommended to swirl it over your palate unless your sinuses have been bothering you.

Technically a fermented sweet liquid such as a fruit juice, red and white wines, even honey, vinegar comes to us in light and dark forms. The lighter versions are milder in taste and influence. They are used in picking when the pickle must remain light in color. And they don't overwhelm things such as cucumbers and sour cream.

Dark versions, apple cider and redwine based, leave their definitive mark in marinades, chutneys, stews and so forth.

Vari-flavored vinegars such as red wine, tarragon, malt and garlic are readily available in most supermarkets. A little collection in your cabinet will add to that usual lone bottle used only to mix with oil for salad. They lend themselves to a surprising array of recipes, including those that follow.

If you'd like to concoct your own flavored vinegars, combine 1 cup of cider or wine vinegar with 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (basil, tarragon, oregano, etc.) or two to three crushed garlic cloves. This can be combined immediatley with salad oil or stored tightly covered.

SAVORY PORK CHOPS

(6 servings)

6 loin-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground sage

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons butter or margarine

6 slices of onion, 1/8 inch thick

1 can beef broth (13 3/4 ounces)

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup water

Combine salt, sage and pepper; rub into chops. Melt butter in large skillet, add chops and brown.Drain off excess fat. Place onion slice on each chop. Pour beef broth and 1 tablespoon vinegar over the chops. Heat to boiling, lower heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Remove shops to heated platter. Add remaining vinegar to pan. Combine flour and water to make paste, stir into pan juices to thicken. Pour some sauce over chops, pass remainder. Good with broccli as a side dish.

CABBAGE IN SOUR CREAM

(4servings)

2 tablespoons butter

1 small head cabbage, shredded

1 egg, beaten

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter ina large skillet. Add cabbage, cover and cook until tender. Mix egg, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage and heat, stirring until coated. Do not boil. Serve immediately.

PIQUANT CHICKEN BREASTS

(4 or 5 servings)

3 whole, boned chicken breasts, split

1 taspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 mashed cloves garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large skillet and brown meat on both sides. Add vinegar and water, simmer chicken 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Check often for sticking. Transfer meat to heated platter.

Add garlic and tomato paste to pan juices. Mix cornstarch and cream separately untiil smooth, add to pan. Stir until thickened. Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with noodles.

VINEGAR PIE

(6 to 8 servings)

1 unbaked (9-inch) pie shell

4 egg yolks

2 egg whites

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup seedless raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat egg yolks in large bowl. Beat whites separately until stiff, fold into yolks. Combine sugar, flour, spices and salt, and sift over mixture, alternately adding sour cream.

Toss butter and vinegar with nuts and raisins. Gently add to egg mixture. Pour into shell and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until set, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and top with whipped cream, if desired.