Thursday, August 19, 2010
My Aunt Cindy's pastries are always delicious. I think it is the antique bottle of homemade vanilla extract she keeps in the darkest corner of her pantry. I used to ask her about it at every family bake-off. She always marveled that I didn't make my own because it was so easy. But it always seemed so intimidating to me. Maybe it was just the dark closet or the distilled spirits involved.
Like all sweet aunties she encouraged me and sent a sealed bag of numerous vanilla pods from Madagascar. The beans sat fragrantly in my cupboard for a year or more. (Naturally she stopped asking me.) But this morning when I was adding vanilla to my grocery list, I suddenly wanted to make my own extract today.
I don't know what took me so long. Because really it was the absolute easiest thing I have ever done in my culinary ventures. Are you ready?
1. Cut 3 vanilla beans down the center leaving a bit of room on either end
2. Split them apart a little to let the beans "see out"
3. Twist them into a glass jar
4. Pour a cup of vodka over them
5. Hide the jar in a dark nook in your home
I think the hardest part is yet to come: wait for two months. That is it. You don't need a sorcerer's cap to concoct. It seems so impressive, lasts for years, and your homemade gets even more homemade.
Thank you Aunt Cindy xo!