Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting Started on Two of my Homemade Gifts

  Two of my proposed food gifts both take more time than effort.  And by time I mean time sitting and developing flavor time not labor time.
  This weekend I started a quart of homemade vanilla.  This was actually a little late to start on it as vanilla should sit for at least two months prior to using.  It only takes two ingredients:  vanilla beans and vodka.  I read lots off different homemade vanilla recipes on the web (I'll include links to some of them on my blog posting at toomanypastimes).  I ended up taking the middle road as far as ratio of beans to vodka.  I used two kinds of beans:  Tahitian and Planifolia.
          The steps are easy.  Slice almost to the top of each vanilla bean.
        Put them in a clean canning jar, fill with vodka and cover with a lid.
       Pint jars were already on hand so I used those and smooshed (technical term) the beans down to fit.
I put four of each type of bean in each jar for a total of eight per pint. After a few minutes the vodka was already starting to darken.
  Just store in a dark cool space for two months, give an occasional shake and voila! vanilla.  It took maybe 5 minutes to do this.  Bonus - my kitchen smelled like vanilla for the rest of the weekend.  Right before Christmas I'll pour it into four ounce bottles and give as gifts to my co-workers.
    I also started homemade limoncello but will wait to talk more about that til after the second step next weekend.


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