Since vanilla extract can be fairly expensive, why not make lots of it at a fraction of the price? Oh yeh, and did I mention that it tastes incredibly better than store bought vanilla? All you have to do is buy some whole vanilla beans and a large bottle of cheap vodka. With a sharp knife, split the beans lengthwise. Starting at one end of the bean, use the knife to scrape the interior of the pod to the end. This substance, which slightly resembles black glue, is the seeds and can be used to make homemade ice cream or put into milk to drink. Repeat with a second bean. Place the split beans into the vodka container and let it rest in a dark place for about 6 weeks. Agitate it every so often. You may remove and strain the liquid or just leave them in. At this point, the bean may be placed in sugar to make vanilla sugar if you desire. As for the extract, it makes a nice homemade gift when packaged in a decorative bottle, if you can spare any.
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