I've started another long term project. Really long term. If all goes well this will make a couple of gifts in February. I'm having a go at making my own vanilla extract! Exciting and something completely new for me. Occationally, I'll find a recipe asking for it but since I've never had something like that in my cupboard I've just skipped it or chosen another recipe. The vanilla essence you'll find on the super market shelves is just revolting stuff, trust me. This is the real stuff - made from lots of vanilla pods (seeds and all).
It's looking a bit dodgy in this picture, as I had just shaken the jar and some of the seeds were still floating around in it. They sink to the bottom so the mix turns clear and clean. In two months or so I'll decant about two thirds of the extract into small bottles to give away. The last third will make the base for another batch - I'll just refill the jar with vodka and keep adding vanilla pods now and then.
There are several recipes online, I've used this one from Craft Magazine.
Check back in a couple of months and I'll share the results. ;)
16 minutes ago