Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract

It is a lovely day here at Wildflower, the weather is nice not too cold, we have wispy clouds, and  sunshine, and it feels like early spring. Inside, I am wasting time and doing  just the  usual up keep. I have a  roast in the crock pot, with some olive oil and rosemary. Later, I will make some mac and cheese, with whole wheat high fiber pasta. I can smell the roast  and  rosemary  cooking as I  take a break  to share a small project I just did while my roast cooks and I have nothing better to do.

Ingredients for farm fresh vanilla extract

First gather your  ingredients, of which there are only two. Vodka, and vanilla beans!

Things you will need  to make  vanilla: The ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka,) a glass bottle, small cutting board, small  sharp knife, a small  kitchen funnel that fits into the top of your clean empty glass bottle.

Vanilla beans

This is a super simple farm project. Gather your vanilla beans, usually 4-6 beans is a good number. Gather them into a bundle lined up, slice across the center cutting them in half. Then slice open the long way each  half of bean.

Clean glass bottle with Vanilla beans inside.

Drop your cut,  slitted, vanilla beans into your empty clean glass bottle. Place the funnel into the top of the bottle.

Vanilla Extract under construction.

Begin pouring slowly the  vodka into your bottle  through the funnel at the top and slowly fill your clean glass bottle with vodka, fill it up as high as you like so long as you can cork it or cap it somehow.

Label your Vanilla Extract

If you like, label the outside of your clean glass bottle, if  you like. Often included on the label would be, what is in  the bottle, vanilla extract, what date was it first made? Today, is 1/5/2020. And who made it, Wildflower Farm. Though on your bottle, you  will want to put information that applies to your own creation. Or no label is even necessary, it’s not as if alcohol goes bad.

The last step, is putting it somewhere dark for at  least two weeks. Usually I let it sit a  month picking  it up every few days  to shake it to  mix it every couple  of days.

Interestingly, you can do something similar with lavender flowers in place  of vanilla beans, or sprigs of mint, or cinnamon sticks…. Or any  number of flavorful  common kitchen staples.

I actually did not learn to do this living  on my farm. I started making my own extracts years ago, when I  lived in Vienna Austria, for my husband’s job. They don’t have vanilla there.  One day I needed some chocolate chip cookies  a traditional flavor of home. So,  ended up  creating my own. The  rest is history. I found I liked mine better than the  week store bought  stuff I would buy in the baking section. And so, though I live again where I can just buy it at the store, I still prefer to just make it myself.

Vanilla Extract

In time, vanilla takes on the  color of the beans gradually. You know it is done when it  is  quite  dark in color. Then it is ready to use however you like. I will post a photo and make another post showing it ready to use at a later date.

Nice homemade bottles of vanilla are not expensive to make. They also make excellent gifts.

Thank you so  much  for joining me in this  project.
I find  making things at home  somehow fulfilling.
Thank you for reading about this simple little project.
Amanda of Wildflower Farm

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