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10 April 2013

Christmas in April?

Why yes, it is Spring and I am starting on my Christmas gifts.

But only because it will take six months to make these gifts.

What am I making?  Homemade Vanilla Extract!  And it's easy.

Here's what you'll need:
One bottle of 80 proof vodka
Vanilla beans

I ordered our beans from Amazon - they had the best price.  Ronnie was in charge of going to the ABC store.  We took the recommendation of the man working there for the best choice for our project.  It wasn't the cheapest and it wasn't the most expensive - it was right in the middle. 

Here's what you'll need to do.

For each 1.5 cups of vodka, you'll need 2 vanilla beans.

We poured 3 cups of vodka into a quart jar. 

We then sliced the beans down the middle and scrape the bean. 
We added the inside to the jar, then cut the scraped bean into 2 inch pieces and added that to the jar.

Next, just shake.

Label the jar with both the start and end date.

That's it.  Now the jars will sit in my cool, dark pantry for six months.  I give them a shake daily for the first month, then once a week for two months, then monthly of whenever you think about it. 

In six months, I'll strain it and have nice real vanilla extract.  For a fraction of the cost!

I'm planning on giving it as gifts in jelly jars for Christmas. 

I'll let you know how it works out...... in six months.


Rachel E. said...

I do believe that is the first time I have seen your hubby in a picture! Yeah! He has a face. then again, I haven't followed the blog since it's beginning either.

I have a batch of vanilla extract brewing in my pantry. I think I still have about two months to go. I didn't scrape my pods, but I did cut the down the middle. It looks nice and brown right now. I got my beans from Beanilla.

Barb said...

That's pretty much how you make an herbal tincture but you only have to do that for two weeks.

Charli said...

Rachel, I think you're right! The few other pictures of him are all in his bee keepers getup.

This Woman Writes -- Carolyn Henderson said...

I like this -- but I want to hear how it works out in six months! Actually, it looks very workable, and if I can get myself to plunk down what the state of Washington demands for vodka, I'll give it a go.

Charli said...

I'll let you know how it's working at the end of summer. And you're right! I couldn't believe that bottle of vodka was $28!

Anonymous said...

I have made homemade vanilla extract before, it's awesome to have on hand, and lasts so long, with a great shelf life. YOu are doing to enjoy it so much!

I'd like to invite you to share this post and up to two others at Farm Girl Blog Fest #28, which is live right now. You would be a great addition to the wonderful posts that are shared!

Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest #28

Hope to see you there!
~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You