So I have a fun experiment for you. I did other ones in the summer. This one has been brewing for quite some time. I wanted to share it with you before Christmas but just never got to it. So I am here to present it to you today. But first a story. Oh come on now folks, you know by now you always get some wacky story with the recipes. You'll like this one.
For those who do not know me well I'll start this tale with a fact. I do not drink alcohol. Like none, ever, never, ever ...ever. Okay that's a lie. I have drank alcohol in the past but at present I do not. I rarely drink, maybe once every 5 or 6 years I'll have a glass of wine. I know it seems like I do. Most of my posts probably make you think I am in the sauce constantly. But I get my happy on naturally, it's how the Lunatic rolls. I mean if this is me sober can you imagine me loaded? Scary right! The reasons I don't are pretty varied. Here's a list, you know I love me some lists. *giggles*
Why the Lunatic avoids the sauce:
1- I am naturally a nut so help is not needed.
2- I actually do not like the taste of it.
3- I am a control freak in a big bad way so doing anything that makes me lose control is not happening.
4- I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, very wicked case of it, alcohol is my biggest trigger.
5- I have a friend who was in an accident involving drunk driving who has permanent brain damage.
6- I have a friend whose husband was killed by a drunk driver.
7- Alcoholism runs in our family, so I've seen the dark side of it. Changes your perspective on it.
8- I think it's wicked expensive and would rather spend our limited excess funds on the horse.
So there you have it. This is not to say I haven't gotten loaded a few times in my life. I have on occasion had some drinks. One time in particular my sister in law decided we were getting drunk at a wedding. So we did, had some fun. Then the next day the family and wedding party went to a baseball game. So we took the bus from Windsor over to Detroit. Halfway there I got a tummy ache. By the time we got to the stadium I was a mess and to put it kindly let's just say I sat by myself close to the loo and knew the bathroom attendant by name by the time the game was done. Yup, I'm a prize people. This girl knows how to party, then embarrass the entire family in grand fashion!
Okay so the story I am suppose to be telling you is this. Since we do not drink here at the Bee household I never buy alcohol. Which means making vanilla meant I needed to hit the liquor store. I have to admit I just wanted to go in as I heard the magazine the LCBO puts out had awesome fall recipes. So I had an agenda before I walked in. So I had mini-me tag along, those who don't know mini-me is my 18 year old daughter. We hopped in the SUV and headed uptown. Pulled in the parking lot and off we trekked over to the local LCBO. I swear to god people hone in on non drinkers right away. The cashier was staring at us the moment we walked in the door. I'm certain it had nothing at all to do with the fact that I had only been in a liquor store once in my life and was like a deer in the headlights trying to figure out where the vodka was. Within minutes mini-me and myself were in hysterics as per usual. God forbid we walk in a store and not make complete spectacles of ourselves. Now mini-me would tell you it's just me making a spectacle but she's an accomplice so she's just as guilty in my book. We wandered around like complete tools for a minute. I had no clue where the vodka was, mini-me pointed to it and frankly said it's right there. I then gave mini-me the hairy eyeball wondering how she knew where it was. When I interrogatedcuz they were "so cute". And off we went to the car, about $12 later and with a free score of a killer cooking magazine. I still have no idea why the cashier had it in for us. I can only imagine saying something like "holy shnikeys this place is huge" is not considered playing it cool. I am also quite certain the very loud "Squee, these little bitty bottles are so cute it just makes me want to start drinking" had anything to do with any of the raised eyebrows by cashiers and customers alike. We kept it classy as always. I mean seriously where's the LCBO's sense of humour anyway. Lighten up hairy eyeball cashier, have a drink, life is suppose to be fun. Even an old fuddyduddy like me knows that.
Yup, so there you have it. More wisdom from the Lunatic. Aren't you glad you read me? It's like the most educational blog out there right. Or whatever.
Home Made Vanilla
- 1 huge a** bottle of Vodka hairy eyeball not included- okay I'll be "politically correct" and tell you it's a 375ml bottle
- 2 to 3 vanilla beans
- On a cutting board slit the vanilla beans down the middle. Open them up carefully and scrap all the bits into the vodka.
- Pop the whole bean in the bottle.
- Give it a good shake.
- Store it in a cool, dark place for about 2 months.
- Now it's ready to use. Enjoy!
I have to say this was pretty cool. My only complaint would be the colour. I would think using a darker alcohol would be nice. Since I have no idea what would work I'll take any advice you can offer. Perhaps rum? No clue!
For other vanilla experiments check out my other vanilla posts:
Toodles and smoochies! xx
I've made it a couple times...but I think I put more like 12 beans in the bottle...talk about expensive vanilla!!! And don't stop telling your stories...I LOVE your antics 🙂 I think your mini-me is more tolerant than mine!
I am so getting one big a** bottle of vodka and making this. Sadly we live in a town so small if I walk into the liquor store, they'd be on the phone callling hubby at work. Can you say road trip??
Oh you make laugh every time! I love this post and I appreciate your honesty regarding why you do not drink...totally respect you for that one. Your mini-me sounds like one awesome daughter.
As for the vanilla...right on! That is so cool. I love making things from scratch and this is ridiculously easy! Can you use it in the same amounts you use store-bought vanilla?
I have been making my extracts for years, wouldn't have it any other way. Flavors also come from the vodka used and the bean, herb, or spice. Most people expect that horrid fake vanilla taste, but being a baker by trade it is the best for all cooking to use your own. The oatmeal is a fantastic idea and will be doing that tomorrow OOH how the cookies will taste!
I have a similar recipe. I haven't made it yet. It calls for 3 vanilla beans to one fifth of vodka. For color it calls for a teaspoon of chocolate syrup. My recipe says that when you start to run low, just add more vodka. No need to start over. I take this to mean that you get a never ending bottle of vanilla. Almost too good to be true. Love your story too!
Thanks so much. The oats are amazing. Really good in cookies.
Thank you. I was so intrigued by it I just had to try it out.
Lol, I am a cheapskate so I rationed. I love telling stories and am pretty lucky the kids don't read the blog much. Mini-me has photo approval though. Lol!
Rofl! I have the same problem. I am sure people were all over the phone that day saying "hey did you see Kim at the liquor store". Happy road trip!
Thanks so much. She is pretty cool. I would use it the same as store bought. The flavour is still the same. Although we might be a little tipsy after with the content of this one. Lol!
I am so glad to have your input. I am a home cook so always interested in a baker's perspective. The oats are the bomb. Really, really good.
I hate the idea of adding syrup to it but might try it. Thank you so much for the tips. It's amazing how this bottle will never run out.
Love the idea of making my own vanilla extract! Great story, recipe and process. I'm going to have to make this for sure!
It's so easy. I was so surprised. Hope you make some and it turns out perfect. The consensus seems to be more beans than I used. I am a cheapskate and scrimped. Lol!
We love making our own vanilla! I worked as a chef for a number of years and always used Nielson-Massey because of it's superior quality, but at $30 per quart it was much more economical to make my own! Also, the flavor of my homemade is phenomenal compared to anything I have ever tried commercially! I paid about $25 for a gallon of the cheapest 70-90 proof vodka (certainly doesn't have to be good or "name-brand" because the ethanol is what does the trick!) Then I bought 1 lb of good extract grade madagascar bourbon vanilla beans online for $30! You don't need to take the time to split and scrape the beans as with other bean recipes, just cut the beans into 2" pieces and shake the extract everyday for a month, the beans will slide out on their own! The best part is that it is so dark you can't see through it after a week, and the extract is ready in one month! I like to use a very fine cheesecloth to strain out the beans/seeds and then I use them for my vanilla sugar making it a win-win! Also, 1 gallon of extract seriously lasts FOREVER! So to recap, $120 for commercial not as tasty vanilla when bought in bulk (I'm sure the price would be crazy to buy in those tiny bottles) and about $55 for the best tasting homemade that lasts me about a year (but I do a stupid amount of baking and almost always add more vanilla than is called for)... Sounds like a no brainer to me! Happy vanilla experimenting!
I made vanilla in the Instant Pot, using Marci's Tidbits recipe. I bought a big bottle of Vodka from Costco, which had a good review, and it was about $12.00. I bought two sets of their vanilla beans. They were $15.00 each batch, so altogether, it was about $45.00 (I think there was tax). So, I made it in two batches. I filled up my almost empty Costco vanilla bottle, which costs almost $30.00, made a couple of small bottles as gifts, and have at least enough for another bottle -- probably a little more. I figure it's about the equivalent of 3 Costco bottles, so would cost $90.00. Of course it's very fast to make it in the Instant Pot, and then you stir up the beans, and I did put mine in a dark place with the beans still in it. As a matter of fact, I keep filling up my Costco bottle, and just keep my extra vanilla back in the pantry where it's cooler and darker. Since we have so much vanilla, we have been putting a lid full in our coffee in the morning. Tastes wonderful. I recommend the Instant Pot for this -- I plan to try it for cherry extract as well, and maybe lemon extract. I have tried it for infused water as well -- cucumber with mint was good.