Like most of you, every Christmas I'm on the hunt for a fun handmade gift to make. I scour the Internet (and my memory) for any ideas that are unique, easy, cute and fairly inexpensive. This year, I came to the conclusion that I would be making vanilla extract.
First I bought 20 4-oz Clear Boston Round Bottles from Specialty Bottles and a 1/2 lb pack of Vanilla Beans from Saffron.com. 1/2 lb is roughly 45 beans. I also got a handle of vodka.
First you'll need to cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and then crosswise and divide them among the bottles. I used 3 beans for each bottle.
Then pull out your funnel and pour roughly 1/2 cup of vodka into each container.
Next - put on the cap and wait!!! Easy-peasy, right?
The steeping effect sets in quickly. The vodka goes from clear to a pretty amber color. Ideally the vanilla should steep for at least a month, till the vanilla is a dark brown. The longer it steeps the stronger the vanilla flavor.
For labels, I did a google image search for vintage vanilla lables. I found one right away that I liked and photoshopped a list of ingredients along with a Christmas note from Joe and I over the physician's information (apperently doctor's distributed vanilla back in the day?) Regarding word choice, I was utilizing these gifts for business collegues and older family folk, so I listed the ingredients as "Good Tidings, Ethyl Alcohol, and Vanillas Beans". I also added a few bows with ribbon and raffia.
"I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that."
Some might ask why I blog. As another blogger put it, “our blog is a unique blend of the practical and theoretical, earthly and spiritual, meaningful and inconsequential." With that said, I invite you to be a part of my life through my blog.