Saturday, March 25, 2006

WHB25: Vanilla - Beans and Extract

So, here's my first post dedicated to Weekend Herb Blogging. I've been meaning to participate for a while, now, and I'm finally getting around to it.

This may or may not sound weird, but I am passionate about vanilla. It's just one of those ingredients that rounds out every recipe it goes into and can kick any dessert into high-gear. I've never been bold enough to try it on fish, or other savory dishes, but I'm working my way toward it.

Making vanilla extract is very simple, and worth it. Get yourself a bottle of vodka, split several (5 or 6) vanilla beans down the center (I scrape out the seeds and use them in other dishes) and slip the beans into the bottle. Let your bottle sit for a few months, shaking every so often, and you've got real vanilla extract. Early on in the process, it makes a great vanilla vodka, but after a week, or so, it's too strong for drinking. I top mine off with more vodka when I notice that I'm making a dent in the bottle, so I've always got a full bottle, and it just gets better and better with time.

Pour a little over fresh berries with a sprinkling of sugar, it's lovely.

6 comments:

Kalyn said...

Erin, it was just fantastic on the berries. Very fun meeting you.

Lexi said...

mmmm swedish vodka ;)
I really should buy some bottles and have in my pantry but my boyfriend can't help having some shots now and then so we're always out of liqour which bugs me because I want to be able to serve drinks to people who're visiting, if they'd want one...
But that vanilla vodka is a great idea if you can't drink it after a while ;) hah I'd like to see him try!

Anonymous said...

How did I raise such a smart kid? >^..^<

sher said...

Well alright! I just got some great vanilla beans. I have vodka. I even have a bottle or two. Great idea--thanks.

Glenna said...

Erin, I love making vanilla too! I used to decorate cakes out of my house so it was nothing to have several vodka bottles stuffed with vanilla beans sitting on my counters. Your Absolute bottle made me smile, like seeing an old friend. I think that came out wrong. What I meant to say was next time try Madagascar beans. They're wonderful, very woodsy, and let me know what you think. You've inspired me. I'm off to the liquor store. Wait. I know that came out wrong. Oh well. You know what I mean.

Erin Eats said...

Hehe, Glenna :)

I will definitely try to get my hands on some Madagascar beans - I've wanted to try with different beans, anyway.