Sunday, 6 December 2009

Homemade Vanilla and other stuff

I love the smell of vanilla. It is the scent of good things, of home, of good baking and general yummyness. It dawned on me that I'd seen several cooking shows way back when we still had t.v. reception, that showed chefs using vanilla from a jar with vanilla beans and a dark brown liquid. It turns out that vanilla extract is easily made, from vanilla beans and vodka or rum, if you want a stronger flavoured vanilla.

I purchased some vodka, well hubby chose it after a long explanation from the gal working at the L.C.B.O and I bought vanilla beans from the the cheapest place I could find, which was 2 beans for $5. I'm sure there is a better place to find them, but for now, I could start. The recipe is split open and chop up vanilla beans, between 3-8 per cup of liquor. Put the beans into clean jars and top with alcohol. Shake once a day for a couple of weeks and then once in a while after that. It should be ready in about 6-8 weeks. You can add more vanilla beans and more alcohol to top it up as needed, when it gets to be 1/2-3/4 empty. After only one day, the vodka is starting to colour.

The silk-wool blend scarves are off the loom and finished. They are nice and soft and I think they are quite pretty. I think the blue one will be for hubby to give away and the grey one will be a present for a family member. Nothing is on the loom right now... egads.... I need to size some singles for the warp of the next project. I should actually do some calculations to make sure I have enough spun first though.

I tried to start the socks at least 4 more times but kept ripping them out 'cause I'd lose a stitch on the first round or some other silly reason like that. Finally I hunted around and found the missing black handspun shetland, the 1 finished half-mitt and the addi stainless needles I'd sure I'd lost. Funny enough, they weren't lost but exactly where I'd left them.. hehehe... Anyway, my intuition must have been telling me something 'cause the second mitt went on perfectly firs time. These mitts are for a friend. I had to get a 3rd friend to try the one on for me to size it as my other friend has slightly larger hands than I. It's hard to judge sometimes to fit things without proper measurements. Since they are supposed to be a Christmas gift, I figured it was a good thing to get them done.

Finally, the wallpaper in the livingroom is almost all gone! Yay. The awful plant shelf which ran around in front of the windows is gone, leaving of course a horrid gold strip of carpet which was underneath and not removed when the recarpeted the room. Hubby took out a rather oddly shaped built in shelf, which was rather delightfully made of very dark, awful fake panelling from about the 70's. I couldn't get it clean; dark, nasty, icky gunk kept coming up each time I'd wipe it down. So it got ripped out, only to find it not sealed in anyway behind the joins of the old house and the addition. You could see right to the outside. No wonder we have had a gazillion and 22 stupid orange ladybugs in the house during the last couple of months. It's been sealed now, insulated and vapour barrier added. The new drywall is up and ready to be mudded!

1 comment:

Jody said...

I've been making my own vanilla for years and I luv it. I tried brandy but the vodka is nicer I think. I use a ton of vanilla beans and let mine 'mature' for about 3 months before I use it:)