Monday, July 26, 2010

How to make homemade vanilla extract

*warning, without giving anything away, if you normally receive a Christmas present from me, don't attempt this at home...cause then you are a Grinch and will ruin Christmas for me.

Saturday Jack and I made homemade vanilla extract. It was extremely easy (start to finish it took 10 minutes), and I'm looking forward to testing the results when it's ready in 8-12 weeks!

The process is says the person who doesn't know what it taste like yet.


-vanilla beans. Don't get the old crummy expensive ones from the store. These are lovely, had free shipping, and were shipped extremely quickly. And they made my mailbox smell heavenly.
-vodka or bourbon. Note if you don't drink, visiting a liquor store is like a foreign experience. I told a Jewish friend of mine that it would be like if she visited the bacon store.

Step 1 - assemble your beans and kitchen shears, or a sharp knife (paring knife would be great):
Step 2 - cut vanilla bean in half, leaving about 1/2-1 inch at the top intact. They're easier to cut than it looks like. The consistency is similar to that of a pepperoni stick:
Step 3 - find a glass jar with a secure lid. I used a quart sized canning jar. Fold the beans in to the jar:
Step 4 - pour 2 cups (for every 6 vanilla beans) of your choice of liquor in to jar:
Step 5 - put lid on jar, and shake a few times.
Store in a cool, dry place for 8-12 weeks. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be. Shake the jars every few days to speed the process.
When ready to give as gifts (hypothetically speaking of course), pour in to individual bottles. I found a great deal on this site. As you use the extract, replace with a little bourbon or vodka, and the beans should last for a few years.
And now you have a lovely gift, that is frugal to give, and isn't full of additives and high fructose corn syrup.
Step 6 - ask your personal assistant to upload photos on to your blog:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Note to self: always carry a rock with you

Cause you never know when you'll need to crawl under one.

Scene: Tuesday evening, crowded college classroom - 40+ students waiting for my information session to start. Across the room I notice a girl I went to high school with who is visably pregnant and wearing a maternity shirt.

Dumb ass: Well aren't you adorable! How are you feeling? (points to belly)
Innocent little lamb: Great, thanks for asking.
Dumb ass: When are you due?
Innocent little lamb: Um, I had him last Friday
Dumb ass: Well, uh, you look great. Gotta go, I need to start the presentation!

Insert foot in mouth.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Exploring Ocean Shores

This weekend, Jack got to hang out at his Grandma & Grandpa's house at Ocean Shores. Despite a little sand snack, I think he had a great time. But you can be the judge.

Things I'm thankful for today

I'm thankful to be able to grow my own fruits and veggies. I'm thankful that I can walk 10 feet from my front door and get safe, organically grown produce.

I'm also thankful for grocery stores. Because if we had to survive off my "harvest", we'd be one hungry family! hee hee!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MENSA, you may consider this Jack's application

*Agdo = alligator
**At the very end you can see Jack's "bitch, please" look. Kid can peel paint with a glare

"We're gonna need a bigger loaf"

On Saturday I made 200 oz of fresh strawberry jam. That should keep Troy occupied until August.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Interesting study on organic farming

Compelling information about organic growing. Read study here