It's just, for some reason I am amazed and delighted that I have the ability to make things I've only ever bought before with my own two hands and some easily-found ingredients. And really, it shouldn't come as a surprise to me. I grew up in a family that made most of what they ate. There was no canned spaghetti, or even canned spaghetti sauce.
We didn't buy tortillas, and we never bought a can of green beans. We went to the basement and brought up a jar that we (they) had grown ourselves and broken and canned. That was just the way it was.
And I think that's part of why I enjoy this so much. It's getting back to the way I was brought up. I don't have the light or the space to garden the way my parents did, and I'm lucky if I don't have to buy tomatoes during the summer, which is a shame.
For making vanilla extract I used a mixture of recipes from The Homemade Pantry and Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. Both of those books are well-loved and well-used by me, especially The Homemade Pantry. It seems a little more down-to-earth than the other one, and a little easier to follow.
Making the vanilla is really so easy that I kind of feel like a fool for not doing it sooner. I hate to pay for pure vanilla because usually it's not in the budget, and I always feel guilty for buying the imitation one that's only a dollar.
For this I used some leftover vodka. I say 'leftover' because my friend left a whole jug of it when we had a girls' get-together at my house. Chris drank most of it over time, but there was still some left for me. So I dumped some in a jar, sliced open a few vanilla beans that I bought online (here) and put them in, too. And then I shook it up.
And then I waited. And after a week I opened it up and smelled it and then shook it up some more.
|At one point I added more vodka and beans to enhance the flavor.|
And then repeated.
I did this for about a month before it stopped smelling so strongly of vodka and started smelling like vanilla.
Glorious, heavenly vanilla.
Other examples of my need to make things from scratch:
Chocolate Graham Crackers
I've also made oreos and pop tarts, but forgot to tell you about them. And tortilla chips. And hummus. And spaghetti sauce. And pasta. And other stuff I can't remember right now.