vanilla bean doings…

Beans. They’re good for your heart… or so the old song says. But I suppose that doesn’t really apply here, since I’m going to be talking about vanilla beans. But I’ll admit, the song keeps cropping up in my head, whenever I thought about writing this post.DSC_0297

DSC_0300For some time, my parents have been talking about making their own vanilla, doing their research, and discussing it with some relatives, who made their own. I think there are plenty of online explanations of how to go about it. DSC_0298

DSC_0301Actually, we started one bottle, back in 1998, and it’s been in our cupboard ever since, though only used for the first time, recently. A very pale color, with an almost floral smell, they wanted to have another go, and see if they could do better this time. Without taking 15 years to do it.DSC_0302 DSC_0303 DSC_0304

After doing some research, they bought 1 pound of Grade B vanilla beans, online, because the Grade B ones are supposed to be drier, and have more flavor in them. One bottle of rum and one bottle of vodka were bought, and each had a small amount poured out, in order to make room for the beans. DSC_0305

DSC_0306When I came upon the scene, my mom was taking each bean, cutting it down the middle, and scraping out the “caviar” that’s inside of it. Using her knife, she would take all that vanilla goodness and scrape it off on the lip of the bottle, where it would eventually fall inside. Then, she would take the long pieces and cut them up, adding them to the mixture, as well.DSC_0307

DSC_0312 DSC_0313Starting off with twenty-five beans per bottle, the containers weren’t remotely full when they had finished that round, and there were still many more beans to go. So, they did another twenty-five each, and filled them to the brim. Now, they’re supposed to sit for… was it six weeks? I’ll have to ask. You just give them a good shake, once in a while.DSC_0315 DSC_0331

DSC_0333After finishing the rum and vodka varieties, they took out the old bottle (I think that one was made with vodka, also), and added another 10 beans to it. Then, all three bottles went into our large cereal cupboard, making it smell overwhelmingly of delicious vanilla.   DSC_0335

DSC_0338DSC_0343Eventually, we’ll be able to strain out the vanilla (if we want to strain it), and put into nice little labeled bottles, just like the ones my aunt gave us, after they had made their own vanilla. DSC_0308

DSC_0352DSC_0355If I could, I would weave the wonderful scent that emanates from our cupboard, right into this post. But you’ll have to use your imaginations instead, and perhaps, consider making your own.DSC_03566-8 Vanilla Beans & Vegemite

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