Homemade Vanilla

Because I loved and completely used up the homemade vanilla from Bethany, I decided to follow her instructions for how to make my own.  What an awesome little gift for people!

I ordered 25 Tahitian vanilla beans from a supplier on ebay.  The 4 oz. bottles came from here.  The vodka was a 1.75L bottle from ABC.  I’m pretty sure the brand doesn’t make much of a difference.  In fact, you can make vanilla extract with other liquors like rum but vodka is the preferred alcohol because of its neutral flavor.

I used two beans per jar.  I cut them lengthwise then crosswise and stuffed the eight pieces into the Boston round bottles.

Cutie Pie lent a hand pouring 1/2 cup of vodka into each bottle.

We capped the bottles right away and put them in a dark place to steep.  Ideally, they should steep for at least 2 months so I put that on the labels that I placed on the jars- “Best when used after 2/3/2012”.

You can use amber bottles to protect your vanilla extract from degradation from UV light.  I figured this stuff is going to be stored in a cabinet so UV exposure is not really a big deal.


A Special Request

This message from Wildman arrived rolled up in a paper towel tube.  I responded and sent it back to him in the same fashion.

After a quick trip to Publix, I had all of the makings for make-your-own pizza night.

I had lots of help from the boys…

This was one of the best ones we’ve ever made!  Yum!

Chocolate Jello?

“Mom!  We have chocolate Jello?” asked Wildman incredulously on Sunday afternoon as if I’d been keeping it a secret.

“Um, I don’t think there is such a thing as chocolate Jello.  Did you find some pudding in the pantry?  Let me see the box,” I said trying to imagine a clear, gelatinous brown blob.

He shoves the box at me.  “See, the box says ‘chocolate’ and ‘Jello’.  I want to make chocolate Jello.  Let’s do it, Mom!  Let’s make chocolate Jello.”

“The brand is Jello but this is chocolate pudding,” I tell him.

“Can we make it?” he asks again.


“I want to pour in the milk.  Can I pour in the milk?  Ohh, the mixer!  Can I use the mixer?  I want to use the mixer.  And lick the beaters!  I want to taste the pudding after it’s all mixed up!  Mom!  I want to sit on the counter.  Can I pour in the milk?”

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