Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Homemade Vanilla - Easy As Can Be!
Pure vanilla is expensive! This simple recipe will save you from gasping when you see the price at your local supermarket. You can look online and discover an array of recipes, but mine is by far the easiest! And, by the way, if you are thinking about Christmas gifts, as I am, then begin this now, and it will be ready for delighting all your friends in December!
This recipe needs three things: Vodka (I use cheapest, but I might break down and actually try a brandy recipe someday), vanilla beans (I get mine either from E-bay or World Market), a jar that seals (and it would be nice if it had a spout, as they have at World Market).
All you have to do is push the beans (I started with four beans, there were two in each packet I bought) in the clean jar, pour the vodka to the top, shake, put in kitchen cupboard. Each day, gently shake, to awaken the beans. In 2 -3 weeks you have yourself a very fine pure vanilla!
After that initial process, when the bottle gets down about a third of the way, top it off again with vodka. After time goes by...months, perhaps... add more beans if the extract looks too weak. That's it!
For the purposes of this blog, I emptied my bottle of vanilla and all the beans, and started over. I've had the same bottle, with the original beans, plus all the ones I've added over the years, and it just now got weak (because I neglected to fill it up till it was almost empty.... Hey, it does take many seconds to fill a jar, ya know!).
Now.... back to Christmas gifts. IT'S NOT EITHER TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT IT! You know how stressed you get at Christmastime, that most wonderful time of the year, when joy is supposed to lift your hearts heavenward? Well, I am hereby helping you! If you make a humongous jar of vanilla and set it back on a shelf and forget it for the next five months, then when December rolls around, all you have to do, my friend, is run into Michael's with your 50% off ribbon coupon, buy darling red ribbon and little glass bottles, then fill the bottles, hug that bow to the neck, and say to your friends, "Merry Christmas!" And you'll mean it, cuz you will be merry that you were so smart to have started in July!