Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Chemistry

My homemade vanilla gifts (here and here) this past Christmas were a big success. Based on the feedback and requests from my recipients, I guess this wee kitchen gift is going to be an annual tradition.

Monday found me busy at the kitchen counter measuring, pouring, and mumbling to myself as I manipulated bottles of liquor and disemboweled a copious number of vanilla beans. If my Halloween stuff was not still stored in Tucson, I would have pulled out my witch hat as I concocted my brew.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I mixed vodka with rum, brandy, and vanilla beans for my concoction (sans eye of newt). My erstwhile cauldron yielded four huge bottles (1.75 mL each) of homemade vanilla now stored away in the dark recesses of my pantry. Over the months until Christmas, the magic of chemistry will do its thing and produce vanilla extract which will be bottled and packaged for gifting. Who knew something so simple would be so fun and such a well-received gift?


grendelskin said...

So simple and yet so very satisfying! Did I mention that you can save the strained vanilla beans after the extract is done and keep them in the freezer? The alcohol means they never fully freeze, will probably keep for years if needed. KILLER ice cream!

Lena said...

I think homemade vanilla is to be treasured. Good vanilla makes all the difference.

I make shortbread every year for gifts, and over the time have been asked for my recipe many times. Whenever I share it, folks always say that it doesn't taste the same. I always ask them, if they use the better vanilla extract. When only a few ingredients are used, you can really taste the difference.

Hope all is well with you June.
Take care.

Storybook Woods said...

I love you are mixing and playing, coming up with the right mox xoxo Clarice

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

There is nothing as nice as home brewed vanilla, June! It must make your kitchen smell so good!