Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Homemade Vanilla


October is also the month to start planning ahead for the holidays, and time for me to make some homemade vanilla, not just for my baking but for special gifts to those on my list who really love to bake, only the finest will do. Making your own vanilla is so easy, a bit expensive but there are some things you just don't want to go cheap on, and I'm the queen of cheap but for all the holiday baking I do, I love the taste of this vanilla over the commerical ones. I don't drink, so I don't like to go the liquor store, I usually send hubby but since Walmart sells some liquor, I can buy it there. For the best vanilla beans, I go to my favorite health food store, I paid $3.50 for 2. I use 4 and a bottle of vodka (750 ml). All you do is cut the vanilla beans in half length way, you can scrape the seeds out if you like or leave them, they will release on their own. Place beans in a clean large bottle, I'm using the same size as the vodka. Pour vodka over beans and seal. Shake daily for one month, after that you can leave it longer for a stronger flavor or you can bottle it up for gifts or sharing. I have a bottle that I made over 5 years ago, I save that for my extra special baking!
This is such a fun time of the year, a time to be at home, doing all the home chores that make our homes so cozy and ready for winter. But besure to treat yourself and family to some simple things, baking with good vanilla is one of them! Happy baking!

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