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 extra 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.
- 2 cups Rum (or vodka for regular vanilla)
- 4 to 6 vanilla beans. You may split the beans or leave them whole. If you leave them whole you can use them after you have consumed the vanilla extract and place them in your freshly made kefir to second ferment it.
- Place beans and rum in a clean glass jar.
- Leave them in a cool dark cabinet for 7 to 8 weeks or longer as you consume the vanilla extract. This mixture will get darker over time and the flavors get richer. Don't forget to use the vanilla beans when you are done! The vanilla is ready in about 8 weeks.