I love fall back Sunday. I know it's more a trick of the mind, but I totally love the extra hour. I slept deep and really well last night. When I woke up, thinking it was late, it was only 7:12. That was the first best part of the day!
My youngest, a sophomore in college, is home for a visit! Oh my, is it good to walk through the house and see his face looking back at me.
This day seems like it's been going on forever and it coincides with a visit from my sweet little boy. It doesn't get much better than that.
Two weeks ago I started a batch, my first batch, of Vanilla Extract. I found an entry on Pinterest and when I calculated the amount of money I spend per ounce from the store, it was a no-brainer. I priced the extract at all the stores around me and the least expensive, not imitation, was $2.25 an ounce. While I try to buy it on sale, sometimes a girl's just gotta make cookies even when supplies aren't on sale. So the last one I purchased was $3.39 an ounce. It was on this day I decided to make my own now, not later.
This is what I did... I took my 24 year old to the liquor store and said help me pick out a vodka that is drinkable, but not top shelf. We chose a bottle that was $12.99 for 750ml, which is 25-ish ounces. Then on a shopping trip with my best guys, we visited our favorite 'little bit of everything' store and found 4 - 8 oz. swing top bottles and 2 - 16 oz. ones for $1.99 each. I'd already ordered beans online and they'd arrived within 2 days! Two weeks ago, I cut the beans in half, so they were short enough to fit into the 8 oz. bottle, then split them down the middle leaving the tip intact. I put 6 halves into each bottle, then filled with vodka. For the 16 ounces, I put in 6 beans that I did not need to cut in half because the bottle was tall enough for the whole beans... I did split them though. I closed the lids and put them in the hutch in the front room to become the most magical of baking ingredients.
In case you are wondering about the math, here's how it breaks down: beans were 16.99 (shipping included) for 25, which is $0.68 per bean. Vodka is $0.52 per ounce. Each bottle holds 8 ounces vodka and 3 beans $4.16 + $2.04 = $6.20. That's $0.77 per ounce! That's 1/4 the cost of the last bottle I purchased - woo. If we include the cost of the bottles, it works out to be $1.02 per ounce and even that is less than 1/3 the cost of that last bottle I purchased. Ohmygoodness!
The only hitch in this plan is the time... It takes 6-8 weeks to create extract.
It's a win I think. And I'm sure you are wondering... what on earth am I going to do with 64 oz of vanilla extract... I plan to give it away for Christmas. I'm hoping to find some smaller bottles sometime between now and then, because 4 ounces is probably good for most folks. The two 16 oz bottles can become 8-4oz bottles. So, fingers crossed.