Every once in a while, I notice a posting on foodgawker for vanilla extract. And every single time, I bookmark that entry, in hopes that I’ll one day get the chance to attempt to make some for myself. I figure having some good vanilla extract will make my baked goods more tasty. I recently asked my mother to pick me up some vanilla beans up at the health food store, since she was already going, and it would save me a trip. Needless to say, she is an awesome mother who did just that. I took a couple quick, badly lit photos of the “process” to show you guys.
The recipes I had bookmarked pretty much all consisted of a ratio of three vanilla beans to a cup (8 oz.) of vodka. I only had one jar thrifted from my mother’s shelves that appealed to me, and it was only capable of holding half a cup of liquid, so I cut my formula down to one and a half beans to half a cup of vodka. The beans got split lengthwise with a knife, tossed into the jar, and then I diligently filled the jar to the top with the vodka that I pilfered from the liquor shelf in my parents’ kitchen cabinet. (As I finished up, my dad walked in and remarked, “Hey, is that my vodka?”) I want everyone to know that real vanilla beans smell absolutely amazing, especially when the scent gets on your fingers.
Anyway, the bottle of soon-to-be extract is now sealed and sitting in the pantry in the basement, ready to chill for two months in the dark. Every once in a while, perhaps I’ll remember that it’s still there, and wander down and give it a good shake. Other than that, it’s purely a waiting game. Patience is a virtue, right?