After reading several other blogs about how they made their own vanilla extract I decided to try my hand at it. This just sounded too yummy and easy. I had no idea you could make your own extracts so easily. I ordered my vanilla beans from http://mountainroseherbs.com/. The only other ingredient was ****VODKA*** gasp! who knew? not me. Not really being one to frequent the liquor store, I sent my oldest son :o) He was more than happy to run the errand.
Mountain Rose Herbs also sells little old fashioned bottles with cork tops for bottling your extract once it is finished. This will make great gifts for Christmas baskets. The girls and I are planning to do Christmas baskets this year and we will fill them with homemade extracts, dried herbs from the garden, we have Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Basil and Mint (Mountain Rose Herbs also has cute little bottles with corks for dried herbs). We will also put in some home canned or preserved items from this years harvest. Will put in homemade ranch dressing mix (no MSG) along with the recipe on a cute recipe card. Toss in a loaf of homemade bread of some kind and wrap with plastic, tie on a cute bow and ta da....who wouldn't love a gift basket like that? The possibilities are just about endless and I still have plenty of time to think about what we could put in the baskets.
Here is my first attempt at making vanilla extract:
25 organic vanilla beans (split up one side)
1/2 gallon vodka
Place beans in a 1/2 gallon glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
Put away in a cool dark place to steep for several months (6-8). Get it out and shake it up about once a month.
Mine will be done by the Holidays!