The Vanilla Waiting Game

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.

Two ingredients, recipe for delicious.

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.

Vanilla extract ready to go chill in the pantry.

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?

Have a bonus photo of my cat Tütters being king of the shed that is no longer standing.

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