Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday and Home Made Vanilla

It was a nice day, busy, but nice.

The weekend was very productive and I got lots of sewing finished. Once I get through October I will start a Handmade Holiday Series and share what gifts I am making this year.
They are mostly frugal gifts too, so that's a bonus.

I spent a good hour lastnight glancing through old photos that were taken when the kids were young. The days when I had only toddlers and babies at home.
Those were good times. I appreciate that age so much more now and relish everything. OKAY.... so I do nor relish waking up at 3 am with a screaming baby. But, you know what I am saying, right?

*Fletcher examining Zelda's teeth*

*Zelda soaking up attention from the baby*

I also relish having older kids to visit with and help me with stuff around here. Indiana was a huge help this weekend as I was sewing up some projects. HUGE!
*Indiana came in today just to play with Fletcher for a bit*

This afternoon, after grocery shopping with my young set I decided to make some vanilla extract.
Now, I am a die-hard fan of Mexican Vanilla. I have it stockpiled from trips my mom has taken across the border.
A few weeks ago a friend was telling me about her gourmet vanilla and I started drooling. I also want to be like this friend when I grow up, so I figured I would start here.  Wanna make some too?

Vanilla Extract

 You are going to need 1 pound of vanilla beans. Yep, don't go small with only a few beans. We are making a TON of vanilla so you can share. To make this yummy gourmet stuff, look for Madagascar Bourbon Beans. I bought mine from amazon and they were $30 per 1/2 pound.  Yes, I paid $60 for vanilla beans. I am worth it.
 You also need a gallon of vodka. Buy the cheap stuff. I paid $10 a bottle...skip the Smirnoff, it's too pricy and will not make your vanilla any better.

 Chop the hard end off the beans and then slice it down the middle. See the gooey bean paste? YUMMY!
 Slit all of the beans and put them into 1/2 gallon jars. 2 jars is all you need:-)
 Pour your vodka in. There will be just a smidge left....get yourself some orange juice. You know what to do.
That's it! Oh, wait! Your jars need to be shaken a few times a day for about 2 weeks. Store them in a dark pantry and shake them occasionally. You can start using the extract after 6 weeks, but I would wait for full gourmet favor....6 months. It will be worth it! We'll talk about this in April:-)

Let me know if you decide to make some vanilla too!

Have a dog-gone great week!


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