One of the easiest things I have ever made is my own vanilla extract. Taking a few vanilla beans and plunk them in a cup of vodka and leaving them to steep for a few weeks and voilà you have vanilla extract. I make large amounts now so I always have it on hand. I have found myself using vanilla extract in everything since I started making my own. Ice creams and sauces and bake goods and then I discovered that after you have consumed all your extract you can use the beans to second ferment your kefir for a unique mild tasting kefir.
This year I discovered rum vanilla extract and I am hooked on this unique flavor. Rum has a spicy kick to it that makes dishes especially around the holidays taste wonderful. Start now and you will have some by Christmas. Better yet rum vanilla will make wonderful Christmas gifts. People are genuinely impressed with this gift, thinking that it is something that requires special know how.