Once upon a time, I worked for a grocery store. It wasn’t a bad job – I mean, I’ve definitely had worse jobs, and the employee discount had its advantages. A while back this store that will not be named changed its vendor and packaging for their bulk spices, and everything from the old displays were put on clearance. I got so much stuff for cheap that day, including a bag of half-price vanilla beans. Since then they were sitting in my pantry waiting for the day I’d get around to making some good vanilla extract. Tonight was that night.
Sure I could go get some vanilla extract at the store, but I’m told making your own is ten times more rewarding once you’re able to use it.
The process is simple but takes forever to complete. Open vanilla beans, place in jar, cover with rum. Wait one year. Done. For this one I used seven vanilla beans and 12 ounces of Appleton Estate rum. You can change the amount of beans, alcohol to use, time to wait, but this is mostly a formula of Beans + Booze + Patience. Oh, and don’t forget to shake the jar every month or so.
These beans were so old they’d dried up and become brittle. That’s okay, they’ll still work wonderfully. Just be careful not to cut yourself when splitting them open.
See you in a year.