Tuesday, January 18, 2011

homemade vanilla extract

believe it or not, vanilla extract is ridiculously easy to make.  just grab a few vanilla beans, chop them into 1-inch pieces, and soak in vodka for 3-4 months.  the alcohol extracts the flavor from the vanilla.  true story.  check the label on any store bought bottle of vanilla extract- it'll usually say it's about 35% alcohol!

i like to start making my vanilla extract around september/october timeframe, so it's ready in time to be given out as christmas gifts.  when december rolls around, i buy the little bottles online, sanitize them, add the extract with a large turkey baster, and apply labels.  then i put them in a cute little basket and prance around making my deliveries.

hopefully my extract is quite useful to the friends i give it to.   there's nothing like personal touch of a homemade gift.  my godparents make homemade ornaments every year, and i always look forward to them.  they're always so creative and well thought out.  

did you receive any homemade gifts this year or in past years?  what is/was your favorite?

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