The Herb Committee handed out bottles of homemade vanilla as favors for the Holiday Luncheon. If you weren’t able to attend and would like to make your own, here is the simple recipe that was attached to the bottle. You can buy bulk vanilla beans at Amazon.com much more cheaply than at the grocery store. Make some and hand then out as gifts with the information below! An easy way to impress your non-gardening friends! ~ Patti
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Clean glass jar or bottle
Vanilla Beans of your favorite variety (rule of thumb is 5 beans per 1 cup of alcohol)
Vodka (cheapest is best)
- Use a knife to split the bean in half, leave about ½ inch at each end intact.
- Put your vanilla beans in your glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka.
- Close jar or bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 8 weeks. Give the bottle a shake every week or so. As you use the vanilla, simply add in more liquor to replace what you have used.
Note: Different vanilla beans have different flavors: Madagascar bean is a powerful, dark, full vanilla flavor bean. Tahitian vanilla beans will give a little fruity and floral flavor. The Mexican variety has just a hint of sweet creaminess.
Penzey’s Spices is also a great source for vanilla beans and other fine spices and herbs. Look for the link in the website side bar section “FAVORITE ONLINE VENDOR LINKS”.