I thought I might give away jars of vanilla extract as presents, but it seems kind of silly. Even though real vanilla is way overpriced!By the way, I recommend the Grade B beans from Arizona Vanilla Company -- we have been very happy with ours.
I don't think that's silly at all! (Mostly because I was thinking the same thing...) I have been thinking about ordering from somewhere, but hav been hesitating -- you know, not sure what I'd be getting and all.. so I'm glad to get your recommendation. As usual, I haven't gotten an early enough start though. It takes a while to "ripen" so I guess it wouldn't be for Christmas presents, more like Valentine's day presents...How was Japan by the way? The pictures on Cindy';s blog are fab, but we want to hear more!!!
i'll just add to this comment that we have been making and using our vodka/vanilla for the last two years, and it's been a-ok. i use it for everything that you would the overpriced supermarket stuff. there are more chunks and particulate matter in it, but who cares? it's just vanilla goodness. and there's something so deliciously anti-establishment about glugging cheap vodka into the jar when we're running low. a couple days later, presto!
WOW! Okay, so I just realized that I have no excuse because I just discovered we have vanilla beans brought back for us from Sri Lanka by our friend the Pajama Queen. Does it matter what brand of vodka? It doesn't have to be expensive or anything?
I found some other method online. You can scrape the seeds from three vanilla beans and place them into a bottle of dark rum. Then please place the pods in the rum as well. You have to wait for three weeks, shaking it occasionally. Strain if desired, and bottle for storage. You can also grow your own vanilla orchids and collect the seed pods, or reuse the vanilla beans for another batch of extract.
Thanks Rojario -- strangely I had never even though of growing my own vanilla orchids -- but what a fantastic idea! I'll have to get my more orchid-capable friends to take care of it though....
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