"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Perpetual Vanilla

      A few months back I decided to find out what all the fuss was about with homemade vanilla. so I ordered some Madagascar Vanilla Beans over the internet. If you value your budget, dont buy in your local Walmart. They may be cheaper in a lot of things but definitely not in vanilla beans. One jar from McCormicks had ONE single bean in it for a whopping $9 and some change. I bought about 45 beans on Ebay for roughly $13 and change.
     I bought a bottle of Vodka from the liquor store. I cant believe they didnt card me,lol. I asked, but I dont think the clerk got the humor in this coming from a 50+ year old woman,lol. Since I am not a drinker, and wasnt sure I would like the vanilla made with bourbon, I only bought one of the 1 oz bottles.

   Once you obtain the vanilla beans, lay one out on the counter and using a sharp knife, split the bean thru one side down the middle. From tip to tip. Dont cut all the way thru. Then place 4-5 beans per cup of liquor in a bottle. Preferably a dark glass bottle. Or keep in a dark place. I stuck mine in a bag and back into the back of a lower cabinet. Let these steep for about 3 months.
     As you start getting a little low in vanilla, just add more liquor. Eventually you may need to add a few more beans as well.
    For my small bottle of Jim Beam, I just split and folded one bean in half and placed it in the bottle.

    I have been smelling this new pantry item off and on, and tasting it. I couldnt decide if I liked it or not. But I guess since I had not actually tasted store bought straight from the bottle, I didnt realize there might be a difference when actually cooking with it. Until last night.
     We just got back from a 2 hour drive home on the motorcycle to watch my grand daughters play soccer. I hadnt really dressed warm enough for the 50 degree temps, and was pretty cold by the time we got back. not to mention the cool night air was aggravating my fibromyalgia causing some aching as well. So i immediately took a hot shower then fixed me a cup of hot chocolate. I suddenly decided to get a little creative. After mixing my hot chocolate, i then placed slightly less than a 1/2 tsp of my bourbon vanilla into the cup and stirred, then I dropped in a dollop of marshmallow cream, and a slight pinch of cinnamon. This was the most fabulous cup of hot chocolate I have ever tasted. as i noted before I dont drink. other than an ocassional sample of wine from Olive garden etc. I could only taste a hint of the bourbon in the chocolate. just enough to be a wonderful drink to warm the tummy.

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