Monday, January 11, 2010

Homemade Vanilla!

Once again, I live up to my mantra:
"Why buy what you can make?!"

Saturday, LBG and I made a quick field trip down the street to the grocery store in search of vanilla beans. We were going to do some homemaking!

The notion of making homemade vanilla extract was placed in my head a few weeks ago courtesy of Mr. Google helped me find a recipe that sounded easy enough. The hard part was deciding how I was going to make it.

Rum, vodka, brandy... so many choices! The idea is to soak a few split vanilla beans in the alcohol of your choice for 8 weeks then WA LA! you have vanilla extract.

Ok, back to my story! We left the house knowing we'd be making a few varieties. I wanted to try with vodka and brandy. I thought about rum but then decided Coconut Malibu probably isn't idea and that was all my liquor cabinet had to offer. I'd loaded three empty jam jars into the dishwasher so they'd nice and clean for our little project.

Once we arrived at the lovely establishment known as Kroger, my plans suddenly hit the floor and shattered into a million pieces. Vanilla beans are expensive! Not Saffron expensive, but still not on the cheap side. We bought a few extra groceries, paid, and left. $13.00 poorer and 4, yes, 4, vanilla beans richer. We'd be only using vodka for our alcohol.

So here's how it works...
PS: I was on the ball this time and actually have photo-documentation

Fill a jar with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes

Once the 10 minutes are up, pour out the water. I needed to let my jar cool a bit because my vodka is kept nice and frosty in the freezer. Split open 3 vanilla beans and put them in the jar.

Offer your beautiful beans a healthy swig of the good stuff. 1 cup to be exact. If you find this process too stressful, have a slurp or 5 yourself!

Lid up and there you have it, Ladies and Gents! In 8 short weeks you will be amazed-- or so I've been told! Just give it a quick shake every so often just woke make sure your beautiful beans are awake!

You are probably wondering what LBG was doing during this time. I can assure you he wasn't sampling the liquids! He was doing something we should all be doing more:

OH YEAH!! You are probably wondering what became of the fourth bean. I'm not cold hearted enough to leave it lonely in a jar. It is aiding in the making of vanilla sugar, of course!