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The number one rule for Homesteading is: “Make Do or Do Without.” Last week found me in another situation of running out of something, and looking up how to make it myself. Vanilla Extract is a staple in my household. I jumped at the opportunity to make my own instead of running to the store to spend money on something artificial.
Making your own Vanilla Extract couldn’t be simpler and it’s cheaper than the store-bought versions. This will definitely have to go on my list of things to stop buying and start making!
All you need are vanilla beans and any sort of liquor over 35%. I made mine with a medium-grade vodka, but you can make it with vodka, rum, tequila, moonshine (heck! no judgment here!).
Slice along the length of the vanilla bean to expose the inside, place it in a seal-able jar and cover with liquor. You can warm the liquor up first, but it’s not necessary. Let sit in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking occasionally. The longer it sits, the richer the flavor! As I use mine, I’ll add more vodka to it so I never run out. When the vanilla pods have given up all of their flavor you’ll notice the alcohol doesn’t taken on that rich dark color like it used to.
Wrap a ribbon around your jar for a cute housewarming, or Christmas gift for a baker in your family.