Vanilla Rich!

I have pretty simple “happy” indicators.

A bowl of lavender, an unread book, a good cup

of tea, a visit from loved ones, and a handful of

vanilla beans-  add them together and I have had

a great month!

Meredith is my vanilla bean supplier.  She knows my

happiness level rises pretty high when I have vanilla

at hand- and last week I got a shipment of beans-  I AM



Tahitian, Madagascar,Ugandan, Indian, Mexican- so many exotic beans!

I decided to make some vanilla right away with the Mexican beans- they

are smoky and spicy with just a hint of cinnamon.


I sealed up the rest of the beans in a glass container- they are vacuum packed-

and still soft in their packages, but vanilla beans dry out quickly, and keep better

in glass jars.  DON’T buy dried out hard beans at a cooking store.  If they aren’t soft

then the beans are pretty useless as the seeds are dried out and can’t be scraped



I had a small bottle of vodka- I like Grey Goose for distilling the

beans- but it is a matter of personal taste.




I removed 5 beans from the package and slit them lengthwise to open

the bean and release the seeds.


Drop them into the vodka and shake gently for a few seconds.


I cut the label from the bean package since I already have a vanilla and

wanted to keep this one with just the Mexican beans.


This is my working vanilla- I used Belvedere vodka and it is pretty smooth-

there are several varieties of beans in this extract- I like it for regular baking.

This is several years old- look how dark it is!


And here is my latest- still not ready to use- but look how dark it got in

just a couple of weeks!  This is just a small bottle and I added a lot of

beans for the amount of vodka.

But I really like making my own extract- it tastes better-there are no artificial

coloring or flavors- and I get to play with vanilla beans! Plus, and this is a big

PLUS, it tastes better!

10 thoughts on “Vanilla Rich!

  1. Your vanilla is looking pretty good! I like homemade vanilla better than store bought. You notice the vanilla flavor more in the homemade. I need to put some more vanilla beans in mine. I like to think it make better baked goods.

    • I do think it makes better baked goods- and I like the making of it! 🙂 I still like making potions and perfumes and vanilla and lavender wands!!!!

  2. Isn’t Meredith a wonderful generous soul! I’ve made my own vanilla for years – in the exact same way you do – and I don’t think I could ever go back to bought stuff. I always keep a large stash of vanilla beans as well, and like you, it makes me feel RICH! 🙂 xx

    • You know, Celia, when I first came to your blog, I saw that you made your own vanilla on one of your recipes. I’ve been making vanilla for years, too, and I figured you had a real love for authentic flavor and decided to come back and become a follower. Homemade vanilla is a very good indicator of a great chef, in my opinion.
      And yes, Meredith is very generous, loving and loyal- she fills my pantry with goodies from every where she lives or visits!

    • That’s exactly how I feel, Brydie!
      Vanilla is so essential to baking. And making my own makes the most sense because I am convinced it is much better.
      And Meredith is a total sweetheart- and she enables my best habits!

  3. Yeah I make my own vanilla too but unfortunately I end up have give it way before I use it all up because I move every 2-3 years. So it is nice to see your real dark bottle that is several years old. I have already had several offers from some friends in Canberra who love to cook to take the vanilla and my other spices off my hands when I leave and I’m still here another year. Love the post

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