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Yesterday was an extra special day here on the planet earth.  At least it was for me.  My beautiful baby niece hit the 9-month mark and is very close to walking on her own.  Yay!  Not only that, but my first batch of homemade vanilla extract hit the 4-month mark.  I should have baked a cake.

This homemade vanilla extract experiment of mine is hands down one of the coolest, not to mention, easiest projects that I currently have brewing (or should I say extracting?) here in our tiny townhouse.  This is seriously easy people.  After the initial prep, just tuck it away in a dark space and wait until it’s ready.  4-6 months to be exact.  I’m going for 6!

I started this batch of vanilla extract on March 27th, 2011.  I’m thinking it may be time to get another one going.  Isn’t it precious?  Aww.

You may be wondering how I came up with such an awesome idea.  Well, I’m proud to say that I didn’t.  Laura at Heavenly Homemakers deserves all the credit.  Heavenly Homemakers was one of the first blogs I discovered last summer (that’s right, I didn’t know much about the blogosphere until then…where was I?).  I’ve been a huge fan ever since, and many of her recipes, ideas and kitchen tips have found their way into my kitchen routine.  Thanks Laura!

Another question you may have is why would I invest my time, energy and money into this experiment?  Simple.  I did the math.  The supplies cost me approximately $27.  The jars and lids from my storage closet were free, the cheap vodka from the PX was about $10 and the top quality vanilla beans from Olive Nation were about $17.

Now, let’s see, Penzeys Spices (the best of the best in my opinion) sells 16 ounces of single strength vanilla extract for $33.65 (double strength goes for $49.45).  Since there are 64 fluid ounces in 2 quarts, I’d have to spend $134.60 at Penzeys for the same amount.

That is a savings of $107.60 if I make my own.  Granted, I haven’t looked into the price of the small amber bottles I’ll need for storing the finished product, so I’m not sure what the final savings will be just yet.

Will mine be as good as Penzeys or any other top quality brand?  Will it be single or double strength?  Laura from Heavenly Homemakers claims that it makes her baked goods taste super great.  I don’t know for sure, but she’s usually right on the money regarding her recipes.  Only time will tell.  I’ll keep you posted.

What a change 4 months bring about in baby nieces and homemade vanilla extract.  I’m so proud of all this progress.

What do you think?  Are you ready to make some for yourself?

Enjoy your day my friends!

Sara B

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