homemade vanilla extract

Last holiday post, promise!  I love gifts, I love giving.  But living on one salary never leaves very much extra dough for presents for everyone.  Every year I like the challenge of finding something to make for everyone that doesn't break the bank.  First year was marmalade, second year was John's home roasted coffee with a side of ginger cookies.  This year, homemade vanilla extract!

I scoured the web for the recipe and they are all pretty much the same.  Little bit vodka and little bit vanilla beans.  Vanilla beans can be a little pricey though.  I went to Whole Foods first and I think they were $7 for two.  But I got about 20 from Beanilla for a great price.  And I got the bottles for $0.79 a piece from the American Science & Surplus Store.

I printed out the labels with a "use after" date since I waited until the last minute to make them and they take at least 8 weeks until you can use it.  The good thing about this gift?  It keeps on giving!  Just continue to add vodka and vanilla beans as you use it and it will only improve with age.

The only bummer?  I gave them all away!  I will have to order some more vanilla beans to make one for us.  But what will we do with all that extra vodka?  Hmmm.

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