Ok. So I totally love DIY- especially if it means I can make it cheaper and better. I mean, why should I shell out twice as much money for something purely for convenience, especially if it isn’t as good and I have the time and ability to do it?
Here in Norway, I have yet to see real, pure vanilla extract at the store. All you get is imitation vanilla flavoring (which by the way is a by product of the wood/paper industry and is chemically treated to mimic vanilla flavor- ew.) and I happen to think imitation vanilla flavoring is an abomination. PLUS it costs about 9 Norwegian Kroner (about 1.50 USD) for these ridiculously tiny bottles that only contain like a tablespoon and a half- max. Can we say “rip-off?”
Yeah. Not cool.
I use vanilla a lot- and I tend to like a stronger vanilla flavor, so I use a lot of vanilla a lot of the time. (I don’t hold back, baby!!) My mother is so incredibly kind and sweet and generous to mail me bottles of vanilla extract from the states- in fact, there is supposedly a giant bottle of the stuff making its way to me via post as we speak- but that can get pretty pricey for her. Plus, I end up buying the imitation crapola anyway- “saving” my “good” vanilla for “special” baking recipes. Don’t even ask about the near tearful episode last year when I knocked over my special bottle and half of it ran out on the floor. Ouch.
SO! Being that I had a big bottle of vodka (bought to make some freaking awesome cranberry jello shots for Thanksgiving, NOT because Yngve and I are closet lushes) that meant I had half of the ingredients needed for homemade extract- I only needed to get some vanilla beans. I managed to find them at the grocery store here (surprise surprise, I didn’t have to go to any special location to find them) and I was a little shocked that they didn’t cost more. (24 NOK for two- about 4 bucks- not cheap, but way less than I expected and for their purpose it will be in the long run)
So I found the only clean jar I had (I think I’m going to end up transferring the contents to a larger jar as soon as one comes available), put the beans in the bottom, filled it up with vodka, gave it a good shake and slapped a label on the side. Now, I have only to wait to give it time to give forth all its vanilla goodness! I’ll save myself (and my mom) some money on this one! (You’re welcome, mom)