My vanilla project is done.
I actually have no clue when it should be called done and when it's just always getting better with time.
Start over. ha.
I discuss my DIY homemade vanilla extract project for the first time here. I think I can, I think I can. Have I? Okay then see some pretty photos I took of the beans and the making of the vanilla here. Finally see how brown it's all getting here. Now that I've caught myself up with what's going check out a final product!
I knew I wanted to bottle some to give to my mom for mother's day. My extract-to-be had been sitting for the appropriate amount of time according to lots of sites so I just did it. I had saved this little brown plastic bottle from some previous store bought vanilla to re-use. I cleaned it up, goo gonned it and used a funnel to pour it in.
I've been checking the vanilla over the last 3 months and slowly it's been turning more brown than clear (remember it was made from vodka & sliced vanilla beans) and smelling more like vanilla extract than less like straight vodka. I gave it a shake every few days (or weeks oops!) to loosen it all up and help make it more extract-y. To be honest it still smelled a little vodka-ish to me.
Did I do it right? Well there were many recipes that claimed I should use more beans/vodka and some with less and all sorts of combinations of time. I was overwhelmed with the numbers so I bought 10 beans and a fifth of vodka and hoped for the best. I'm going to let my big bottle of master vanilla extract sit a little longer before using it in everyday baking. I wish I did baking everyday.
So this is my first portion that's been bottled but I'm not quite going to call it "done".
I made this homemade label on picmonkey.com since Picnik is gone. I like that site a lot and have found that it's a good substitute. Even free! I loaded the vanilla logo into word and printed it onto some round labels leftover from our wedding.
In the future I plan on buying a few more little brown glass bottles to give out as gifts. I'll keep the master extract as is for now and see how it developes as time goes on. Eventually I'll take the vanilla beans out and do something awesome with them. Vanilla ice cream? Vanilla sugar?