Since harvest season started, around September, my sister-in-law and I have been canning regularly here and here. Both of us have filled up our pantries with canned peaches, pickles, relishes, apple sauce, pumpkin butter (which is out-of-this-world delicious!) a couple variety of jams, and several ice cream/pancake toppers (the jam that didn't set correctly. Ooops.)
This day, we were trying something new.
And as always, something cheap.
Homemade vanilla extract!
No cooking involved.
But it does require a large volume of vodka and a small volume of rum! And if you're having a particularly bad week, a little larger volume of rum!
We found the cheapest place to get whole vanilla beans was ebay. Ya, that's kinda weird to be buying food-type items from ebay, but it fit the budget.
We start by splitting the vanilla beans. Place escaping-alien looking vanilla beans in small jar.
Now maybe, just maybe, this is the alcohol talking, but don't the vanilla beans look like they're trying to escape? Like a lobster trying to escape a pot of boiling water. It just struck me so funny! Like I said, maybe it was all that alcohol.
Fill jar with vodka, and add a splash or dark rum... hopefully you have some left.
That's it. There ain't no more.
You let the jars sit for 6-8 weeks before using the extract to soak up all the goodness from the vanilla beans. And shake it a little about once per day. It get darker and richer as time passes. And as you use it, you just splash in a little more vodka, if you have nay left, (or what ever alcohol you have lying around) to top it off.
Now what in the world do we do with all these canned peaches, jams, pickles, relishes, and now vanilla extract?
Part II tomorrow...
UPDATE-Oooops! I've put my big ol' foot in my mouth again! But thank you to the anonymous commenter that pointed it out and provided me with the opportunity to learn and be a better me. I made some much-need corrections and republished this post. I have some learning to do!