Well, did you know you can actually make your own VANILLA EXTRACT?
You can and throughout this post, you'll see just how easy it is to whip up a batch.
However, big fat, juicy vanilla beans can be purchased in bulk through various on-line outlets.
I wrapped these beans in jute just for this photo but they arrived in my mailbox in vacuum-sealed packaging.
The vodka for homemade vanilla extract does not need to necessarily be the most expensive top shelf variety. It's really your choice. I don't suggest the best nor do I recommend the lowest shelf either.
I used a medium grade.
First, cut the vanilla bean length-wise and scrape the vanilla "caviar" out with a flat-edge knife or spoon.
Look at all that vanilla goodness.
The ratio of vanilla beans to vodka varies depending on where you find the recipe.
I've found that at least three vanilla beans for every one cup of vodka is a pretty good recipe rule to follow.
Over time, the vanilla bean seeds along with the pods will flavor the vodka and produce the vanilla extract.
While the prep work only takes minutes, the mixture should soak for at least 8 weeks to develop the flavor.
Shake the jar vigorously at least once a week to shake all the flavor loose from the pods and blend with the vodka and vanilla bean seeds.
Keep the jar stored in a dry, dark area like a pantry shelf.
I keep mine in the back of my pantry on the floor and out of the way of high traffic.
If you plan to make multiple batches, I think it's a good idea to label your jars so you can keep up with the vanilla bean to vodka ratio as well as when the batch started soaking.
Don't forget, the longer you allow your vanilla beans to soak, the more potent the flavor. These jars have actually been soaking for nearly six months.
Whenever I open a jar, the vanilla aroma practically fills the room. I can't wait to use this is my recipes.
When you're ready to use the vanilla extract, simply strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to catch any pods or vanilla bean grains.
My plan is to fill these bottles with my homemade vanilla extract and package them up for friends and family as holiday gifts.
I have some cute labeling in mind too and I'll be sure to share the finished presentation with you later in an upcoming blog post.
The longer the vanilla beans soak in the vodka, the more potent the extract flavor.
So, are you excited about trying to make your own vanilla extract?
WANT MORE INSPIRATION?
Check out the ton of DIY projects and ideas over at Kim's link party at Savvy Southern Style. There's no shortge of eye candy and fantastic recipes and projects at Kristen's link soiree at Ella Claire's Inspiration Exchange. Lucy's weekly Inspiration Gallery link party at Craftberry Bush is once again filled with goregeous, handcrafted ideas. Kick off your own creative weekend with Jen Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday link party. You'll love the inspiration over at Trish and Bonnie's at Uncommon Designs.
Do take some time to drop by these lovely blogs and support the creative efforts of fellow bloggers from all over the blogosphere.
COMING UP ON MONDAY
OK, how cute are these felted wool acorns?
You can make these in no time at all and incorporate them into your Fall home decor.
Start gathering handfuls of acorn caps around any Oak tree and then pop back here next Monday (9/30) for my quick and fun tutorial on making DECORATIVE WOOL ACORNS.See you then.