A quick post. Well, it is never a quick post*, but I always think it will be.
When Carole and Kim mentioned that they were making homemade vanilla extract I couldn't stand how much I love the idea! Everything is better when made with quality ingredients or materials and with love, isn't it? When I started mentioning it to people I was surprised to find some that professed to never using store bought vanilla, that they can definitely tell the difference in their recipes and will never go back. Hmmm.... I feel that way about quite a lot of things, so I imagine I will fall in line with this one as well.
Then there was Norma and her Study in Vanilla, trying out different varieties of vanilla extracts in her baking. That made me curious. I even wonder if my palate is sensitive enough to notice. I think it might be and there are plenty who know me that might think it a definite. Time was running short so I ordered two varieties of vanilla beans, Madagascar and Bourbon, and made my vanilla extracts from those.
Some people ordered their labels and some made theirs. As I mentioned I was running late-I only made the vanilla extract this past week-so I sent Pete out to get plain white adhesive label sheets and was planning on only putting some instructions that I found on this blog on the bottles. Well, Pete got me thinking when he got the plain and some shaped labels from Avery. Upon reading the package I found that they had templates on their website that you could customize for your own use. Sorry there are no photos of my cut vanilla beans or empty bottles or the bottles of vodka I used, but remember-short on time and I suspect my photos would have looked much like the photos in the links in this post.
I'd love to say that making the labels was fun, and it would have been if I hadn't been all last minute. The website does make it easy, but I don't pick up on those things as quickly as others and I kept trying to change one thing that changed a bunch of things, but once I got the hang of it I was done (haha) and even though I did think of a change I was really done by that point so I left it. I think they came out quite cute and am confident I could do it again. I totally love the bows! They aren't as classy as these or these, which look like they came out of a Williams-Sonoma catalogue, but I love their holiday spirit and know I can make different ones next year. I was led to this website by Kim and pretty much copied her script for my labels.
The details: I ordered my vanilla beans from Beanilla and my bottles from Specialty Bottles. I wish I had gotten the clear bottles, it would be fun to watch the liquid turn from clear to amber as the beans steep and extract, but I think the presentation is cute either way. I was surprised at how few people realize that vanilla extract is made with alcohol. I mean, shocked and surprised. I am not sure how I knew it, but I feel like I always have. I mean, when making candy or fudge you leave it to the last because it is flammable, but I thought that was common knowledge.
One of my favorite Christmas albums of all time is Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas.
Really, I could post the entire album, but it would be easier for you to just go over to Spotify and listen to it.
*OF COURSE! this post took longer than it should. I hit save every time I do anything and yet, at some points all of my links and the videos and the second half of this post disappeared. I know I hit save, I am in the habit of doing it after every addition to the post. That lesson was learned a long time ago. Then I tried to fix one little thing and that messed up another! Hahaha! Good thing I'm in a cheery mood! Well, now I am getting back into the kitchen.
2011. Sixty-eight. $2.11. Take a look at those photos! Not that they are great, they're not, BUT I actually changed the lens on my camera!
Don't forget to check out this post and comment for a chance to win a three month subscription to audible.com!