V comes in handy when mixing up a flavorful concoction in your own kitchen.
Did you know vanilla extract is made by simply soaking a vanilla bean in half a cup of vodka? Neither did I. Martha Stewart told me.
Use a glass jar with a tight seal. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the jar. Then, drop the bean in as well. Add the vodka. Seal the jar and set it aside for two months. Shake it once in a while. Over time, you will see the liquid darken.
This is the jar my vanilla bean came in. I removed the bean, scraped the seeds, then put them all back in the same jar. I filled the bottle with vodka, about half a cup.
In this next picture, you can see the bean folded in half and the seeds at the bottom.
This extract is not quite ready. It should be a bit darker. Once the extract is really dark (about two months), discard the bean pod and store the jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a year. Easy peasy.
I'm not sure this is a more economical way to get vanilla extract, as one vanilla bean is about eight dollars. (You might get two batches of extract from one bean.) But, it's impressive to say, "I make my own vanilla extract."
People will then suspect you're friends with Martha.