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Make your own vanilla extract!

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  happyfrog on 11/19/2010, 8:19 am

all i know is i get madagascar bourbon beans from the coop. she does that particular buy (if hx will repeat) in around march and then in sept-ish. she has done it a few times now and folks are thrilled so i decided to take part. (it's a cloth diapering coop, lol, that over the years has expanded to include more than 'just' cloth diapering materials).

my vodka and rum bottles are clear.

the canning board i'm also a member of encouraged folks to store this product in dark, dry, cool place. so i keep it under my kitchen sink. it is all of those things, except when i open the door to get something, lol.

the liquid inside is turning this gorgeous amber color - the rum is a deeper color now - all are just so yummy smelling! i'm not going to start using/sharing this until december, though. Smile unless i run out of my 'sstash' of vanilla that i purchased - i have 5 more 2 oz bottles on my shelf - usually i use at least one bottle/week, sometimes more - and this wekeend, i'll be doing a LOT of baking for thanksgiving. .

the hardest part is accepting how easy it is to make.

and realizing that someone was brilliant to start charging so much for these items!

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Vanilla

Post  ander217 on 11/19/2010, 9:32 am

I just did more research on vanilla. Bourbon beans are also called Madagascar-bourbon vanilla beans. They are the most common, and come from Madagascar, grown from cultivars that originated in Mexico (the origin of all vanilla cultivars.)

Whew, LaFee, you are right about growing one's own. After reading what goes into producing quality beans, I'd say we are lucky to be able to buy the beans rather than trying to produce our own. Hand pollination is difficult, timing is critical, growing conditions are difficult to reproduce, and if one does manage to grow beans, they must be "killed", sweated, dried, and cured before using, all of which take months.

There are three grades of beans, based on length. The longer the bean, the higher the grade. I'm not sure if the grade affects taste.

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  LaFee on 11/19/2010, 1:23 pm

$7-12 per bean? (lafee faints dead away)

You can get THREE for $7 from Penzey's (they'll add a little freight, but still) -- and if you're lucky, there's a store somewhere close enough to visit, even if it's only a once-in-a-while trip.

FIFTEEN of the little jewels are just under $30.

And Penzey's is a fabulous source of dried herbs and seasonings. Easy to deal with, great prices, and far, FAR better quality than the grocery stuff!

(By the way -- if you live in an area with an Hispanic influence, look for Badia spices in the Latin food section -- very good spices for very good prices)

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  davidclubb on 11/19/2010, 10:56 pm

I believe you can grow anything you want in any region by following Mel's advice in the All New Square Foot Gardening. He mentioned that you can extend the season by building a "green house" over your garden. Simply put, just build a dome or canopy over your SFG, and control the environment with an a.c./heater, and theoretically you should be able to grow any thing you want.

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  Lavender Debs on 11/19/2010, 11:48 pm

Is there a Costco in your area ander? I saw vanilla beans at mine today, 10 for about $11. Costco usually demands top quality..... but then again, on a whim, I bought a costco size thing of chili, most of the cans were dented under the pretty plastic wrap. Sooooooo

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In the boonies

Post  ander217 on 11/20/2010, 6:24 am

I live in the boonies. No Costco, Penzey's, or Hispanic groceries. We have Wally World, Kroger's, and local stores serviced by Associated Grocers which do not include many specialty items - cannot even buy organic products there, - they push their Best Choice and Always Save store brands. Fifty miles away in Cape Girardeau we have a Schnuck's which carries more specialty items - that's where I found the Frieda's brand vanilla bean for around $4, (1 bean per package) and there is a nature store which carries bulk grains and legumes, but they are the ones who want the astronomical prices for vanilla beans.

We're visiting our daughter in north Austin, TX next week. Does anyone know of a good source there for vanilla beans?

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  LaFee on 11/20/2010, 7:11 am

Penzey's will ship to you -- but their rates are very reasonable, and it will STILL be less than $4 a bean.

There's a store in St Louis, as well as one each in Dallas and Houston (not Austin, which surprises me)

I did a Google search on "buy vanilla beans" and Amazon has several kinds (for about $1 a bean), as well as a number of online purveyors of JUST vanilla - extract, beans, seeds, etc., etc., etc.

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Thanks

Post  ander217 on 11/20/2010, 7:53 am

Thanks, LaFee. I didn't even think about shopping for them online. Duh.

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  camprn on 11/20/2010, 8:19 am

San Francisco Herb Co. I think there are about 25 beans in 4 oz.

how many vanilla beans to an ounce? on this website there are reviews of vanilla vendors.


Last edited by camprn on 11/20/2010, 8:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  happyfrog on 11/20/2010, 8:36 am

re: beans/ounce depends on the size of the bean. the ones i got were around, *hang on while i get a measuring device* 6" long.

i paid 28cents each bean plus $1 handling fee and actual shipping costs. (was shipped in padded first class mailer).

if you can join a coop that sells food items i think you'll get the best deal - because of hte bulk ordered. Smile

hth.

bettyann

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  Megan on 11/20/2010, 10:20 am

@happyfrog wrote:re: beans/ounce depends on the size of the bean. the ones i got were around, *hang on while i get a measuring device* 6" long.

i paid 28cents each bean plus $1 handling fee and actual shipping costs. (was shipped in padded first class mailer).

if you can join a coop that sells food items i think you'll get the best deal - because of hte bulk ordered. Smile

hth.

bettyann

28 cents for a vanilla bean?!? Holy cow... er, bean!!!!! That's amazing. Shocked

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  camprn on 11/20/2010, 11:52 am

@happyfrog wrote:i paid 28cents each bean plus $1 handling fee and actual shipping costs. (was shipped in padded first class mailer).
bettyann
Wow, that's great! How much bulk did you have to buy to get that price?

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  happyfrog on 11/20/2010, 2:58 pm

i didn't have to buy bulk. it was a bulk order. lots of folks order as few or as many beans or other vanilla products as desired. but there was a $1 handling fee for the coop - so i went in with another friend and we split that $1 fee 'cause we're cheap,lol.

i ordered 10 beans, she ordered 12. we paid right around $10 including all paypal 'add on' fees total for our order. it was a test for us both - neither had ever ordered vanilla beans before and we didn't know what/how hard they would be to deal with - esp since we both have young kids and special need situations, etc.

so next time, we're both ordering a lot more - but again, will go in together so we split the shipping and handling fees. she lives about 40 minutes from me so it's an excuse for us to visit. .. Smile

do a yahoo group search for lovinbundles and it should come up - but they're not always accepting new members - it's only a few folks running the various coops and they try to keep the membership manageable - it has over 1500 members now. ..

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Vanila Beans for Homemade Vanilla

Post  barmstr on 11/20/2010, 7:11 pm

My wife has been making vanilla for years. We had four kids who loved to help bake and ate it all. The life of a 9 X 13 cake in our house was 1 1/2 days. Chocolate chip cookies-half never made to the oven-the other half were eaten when they were cool enough to guzzle down. Went through lots of milk also.

Anyway, go to www.zamourispices.com. In the search area, type in vanilla beans. You will see a recipe and a variety of beans. We always buy the cheapes ones. Great service. They also have a large variety of other spices. Service is great.

Enjoy the cooking.

Bruce Very Happy
www.brucesplace.info

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  nycquilter on 10/29/2011, 6:52 pm

@happyfrog wrote:al - i was told it really didn't matter, BUT if you have the money, to buy 'better' liquor.

so i bought middle-top of the road vodka and rum. i had the liquor lady help me pick out since i'm not a drinker.

and what i personally came home with from tehliquor store is:

Kamchatka vodka 80 proof 1 liter (i bought 2 of these)

and

bacardi gold original premium crafted rum puerto rican rum 40% alcohol by volume 375 ml

hth

all i did was put 3 sliced vanilla beans in each bottle. i shake whenever i think about them - they live under my kitchen sink right now. Smile

i've been told it takes 2-3 months to 'make' vanilla extract.

i haven't decided if i'm blending or keeping them separate - but this way i have that option if i so choose. Smile


I did an herbal medicine apprenticeship and I was taught to use 100 proof vodka. THat's how I made mine, though I use it for everything (also learned the best medicine is delivered in our food). For some herbs, I also like brandy, for example if I want an antispasmodic or just that energy or flavor. And you don't need to buy the most expensive at all.

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  Goosegirl on 10/30/2011, 7:28 am

Whoever revived this thread.........THANK YOU! I have saved the link to the gourmet spice site in my Favorites and will be making a new batch of vanilla soon. My last bottle got used up making some fruit liqueur and vanilla beans are SO expensive within my 100 mile shopping area that I broke down and got a bottle of white vanilla on ebay. Now that my non-cooking Hubby is learning how to bake (I have had some AMAZING cookies in the last few weeks) I definitely need to start making my own vanilla again. I have never made it with rum, but that is an interesting possibility as well.
thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks
GG

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  camprn on 10/30/2011, 7:39 am

I like the homemade rum vanilla the best. I use a dark rum.

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  Denese on 10/30/2011, 11:39 am

My sister is a missionary in Indonesia and recently came home for furlough. She brought back vanilla beans for me. Haven't used them yet. Wasn't sure what to do with them. Now I know!! Very Happy

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

Post  llama momma on 10/30/2011, 2:17 pm

VanillaReview.com
Wow, this is a vanilla bean and extract tutorial. I think you could get a degree in vanilla bean knowledge if you learned everything on this site ha! There are pictures of bean imperfections, how to determine fully ripened beans, making different kinds of extracts, etc.
Once again - wow!

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Have fresh vanilla beans if you want some!

Post  JeanneRamick on 1/6/2013, 1:01 pm

My daughter just got back from California and brought me a BUNCH of fresh, moist, Madagascar vanilla beans! They only cost about 65 cents each!!

I have a FoodSaver machine and was thinking I could seal them before sending, because these are REALLY moist.

The Post Office has such restrictions on the thickness of envelopes that I'll have to do some research on that front.

Don't want to make anything on them, just cover cost and shipping to share!

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Re: Make your own vanilla extract!

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