Monday, November 21, 2011

the early [christmas gifter] catches the... vanilla??

When I made my Christmas list a few weeks ago, I needed to plan out what I would put in the baskets to give our friends and their families here. I don't want to list all the contents in the basket because some of the people who will be receiving them also read the blog. I have to keep some secrets! But I couldn't help but share one of the items I'm most excited to give.

Homemade vanilla extract.

Sounds amazing, yes? The idea took root in July while I was watching- big surprise- a Barefoot Contessa show. I should really consider therapy. I think I'm obsessed. But when I found out the ingredients were vodka, vanilla beans, and time I was in! It sounded original, easy, and cheap. Yep, count me in.

So I am making four small bottles to give for gifts. And I decided that Ina's recipe online wasn't very clear so I went here to get a more definitive list of ingredients. If you are considering making this yourself, I recommend reading the comments of people who have reviewed the recipe. It was really helpful.

So I ordered the vanilla beans from and bought a massive bottle of vodka from Costco. Yep, I looked awesome- huge preggo belly in the front and a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka on the hip as I walked to the cart with my toddler sitting in it. Oooooh yeah. Mom of the year award! ;) And as soon as the vanilla beans arrived, I assembled. I measured 1 liter of vodka and put it into the tupperware bowl, along with the scraped out vanilla beans- some cut and 4 whole to look pretty when individually bottled.

The beginning:
Two weeks into it:
If only I could capture the smell. :)

I have been shaking it every day and it will be ready to use by mid-February. Hey, some things are worth waiting for, right??

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