I got inspired to make my own vanilla extract for cooking and my friend, Elizabeth, was visiting and told me how her family makes it. So, here's to Vanilla experiment number 1! So far, it smells INCREDIBLE!
We got a bottle of Vodka (with a pretty white polar bear on the inside - beautiful bottles make for better vodka... right?) and 4 vanilla pods (which we purchased from Trader Joes). We sliced the pods open by just cutting one slice from the top of each pod to the bottom, to make sure the seeds were exposed. Place the pods inside the vodko and set inside a dark cupboard for 5-6 weeks, shaking it periodically. (And No, we're not drinking it).
Also, if you want some yummy sugar, place a vanilla pod in your sugar container. Great for coffee, tea (can we say chai latte?) or baking.