The great thing about Vanilla is that none of it go's to waste.
When we cook we often use vanilla extract which is cut up bean pods once the seeds are removed (using scissors).
We got a bottle of vodka (which is important) but the alcohol burns off when cooking or baking so it's ok!
Then we poured around 100ml out into a measuring cup (we use the spare in our ice cream machine).
after that we split open 18 vanilla pods & took the seeds out then popped it into the vodka..
Next we use scissors & chop up the pods to 1cm size & add them in too.
Now shake it up for as long as you can! (Dad shook it solidly for over 2 hours while watching a film) ..then shake it every day for a fortnight (2 weeks) then every time you remember!
It's best if you can keep them in a dark brown bottle or else keep it in a dark cupboard.
After 3 months it will be raw vanilla extract, after 6 months it will be pretty magic to use in baking, it will keep well for several years!
after 6 months, pour it through a strainer to separate the pods from the liquid & pop the pods back into the bottle to start another batch! ..you will never run out of vanilla extract & you'll have enough to give as presents to your friends who bake!
Months have passed & it's just about ready to strain, we've added so many more vanilla pods when cooking, so not only does it add to the flavour, it saves waste too! ...I cannot wait to bake with another ingredient I made myself.
Note: certain religions will not be allowed to consume alcohol (which we use for a base ingredient) so it's always best to ask before you serve folk up something just in case, so always have a list of ingredients to hand, you can make vanilla extract without alcohol but it's a tiny bit more fiddly! ;)