Monday, January 31, 2011

Vanilla Specimens

This kitchen project was inspired by form more than function. We scored a pair of these beautiful glass jars at Goodwill. But what to display in them? Homemade vanilla extract seemed like the natural fit. We can get vanilla beans for cheap in bulk at our local co-op (though I can't attest to the quality). $7 worth of vanilla beans and two cups of vodka, and voila! Right now the jars have a beautiful color gradient, from a darker brown on the bottom to colorless on the top. The varying thickness of the jar's walls magnify the beans inside, making them look like specimens in a science project.

I followed instructions from a google search to make the extract. We opened up the beans and covered them with the vodka, where they will sit for at least eight weeks.


Anonymous said...

Good luck...looks great! We are enjoying the fruits of this project at our house. I'm trying a second-run (reusing the same beans) in rum.

Mikey C said...

I made some jalapeno tequila not long ago. Bad idea. I chopped four jalapenos and steeped them in a 375mL bottle of blanco tequila and after just 24 hours the jalapeno flavor was way too strong. In a margerita just about a half to a full tablespoon added to the regular recipe is plenty strong flavored and leaves a delightful warmth at the back of your throat.

Another thing I like to make is tomato vodka, its great in bloody mary's. Just cut two large tomatoes into eight chunks and steep in a fifth of vodka for however long you want (I did two weeks) and give it a stir every day. When you're ready just strain out any solid parts through cheese cloth or a coffee filter and enjoy!

Mikey C said...

I meant teaspoon above, not tablespoon. A tablespoon would be too much heat.

HermitJim said...

I hate to admit it, but I never thought about making this before! Guess I need to start paying more attention, huh?