You still have time to get some going — to have in time for a special teacher who has nurtured your child all year. This is the gift I always reach for when I want to make sure the person gets a continuous reminder of my gratitude — perpetually, like the vanilla itself.
People are surprised to learn how easy it is to make their own vanilla extract. They are, I think, my surprised to learn that it will never run out. The vodka preservers the vanilla, keeping it alive. All you do is top it off with more vodka, or rum, as you use it.
To get your vanilla extract started, you’ll need about a month. That’s just enough time before school lets out so that you can start now and have a gift ready. Start collecting wine bottles now — if you want to create more than one. (Clean them with this!)
* 6 vanilla beans
* 2 cups vodka
* glass jar with tight-fitting lid. (I use a wine bottle with a cork.)
1. Cut open the vanilla beans, but do not open it all the way.
2. Place vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
3. Cover completely with the vodka.
Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.
4. You can now pour into individual little bottles for gifts with a label. If you insert a vanilla bean into each jar, you can continuously add more vodka as you use it up. So, it’s perpetual… never running low.
5. Shake well before using.