Monday, November 25, 2013

Make your own Vanilla!

How to make Vanilla

My In-Laws had taken all of their Married children and spouses to Tahiti after they sold their home.  We had a wonderful time.  When it came time to come home. One of my sister in laws had put Tahitian Vanilla Beans, 
that she had purchased in the open market,  
in her bra to smuggle them home! 
I wondered what in the world 
would make her do that......
She was making Vanilla.
I am not going to out her completely,  So
 She who will not be named 
taught me how to make Vanilla.  
I have been making it ever since.
 This makes a wonderful gift.  I find pretty bottles to put my vanilla in and everyone comes to my house for refills. I don't think any member of my family has bought any vanilla in years!

I order my Madagascar Vanilla Beans off the internet.  Love the internet for those things. There are several sights our there selling grade A vanilla beans.   Make sure they are fresh.  If they snap and break when you fold them.  They are too old to use.  They should be plump, slightly oily and 
smell like a little slice of heaven.
When I started this post I was still using Vodka that is 80 proof..  This year I tried Rum, also 80 proof.  I was told it makes a wonderful vanilla and 
They were right!
 Remove any strainer from the bottle.  Be sure to save it and replace it or the lid will not fit properly.
I like to use about 8-10 beans per bottle.
 Cut them in half length wide and 
scrape the goodie out with a knife. 
 Place the vanilla bean scrapings in the bottle.
Cut up the bean into pieces and put into the Vodka or Rum.
 Replace the strainer in the bottle and replace cap.
Now.... shake, shake, shake,  
shake, shake, shake
shake your Vodka!
Shake everyday for 1 month for a couple of minutes.
I shake once a week after that.
Store the Vodka on its side in a cool dark location.  This is so the the beans will have more surface area exposed to the beans.
In 6 months the Vanilla will be ready for use.

Now is where the Fun begins!
Most people will tell you to strain your vanilla.
I don't mind the little seeds and bits.  Get a coffee filter and strain the vanilla or not.

Find pretty bottles and fill.  
It makes wonderful gifts.