Saturday, March 27, 2010

vanilla, baby

okay, so i have a confession. for most of my life i considered vanilla to be like the ultimate tasteless flavor. vanilla ice cream? booooring. vanilla perfumes and soaps? blech!

and then at some point my mind began to change. little by little, one day at a time, i fell in love with vanilla. my boring adult self began to detect subtleties in the smells and tastes of different vanillas. vanilla bean ice cream became my favorite. what is the meaning of this? i asked myself. the answer is probably that i'm getting old and boring. but i don't care!

then, about two years ago when craft magazine was still in print, i came across this article. oh. my. gosh. DIY vanilla? how freaking cool is that?! unfortunately, i had no money for pricey vanilla beans. so i waited. and schemed. and waited some more. i saved every empty vanilla bottle i used in the hopes that someday, maybe, i'd have my own little vanilla stash, and could bestow delicious fragrant homemade vanilla on all my bakey friends. yes, i know bakey is not a word SHUT UP. 

well the other day i bit the bullet and ordered some vanilla beans online. and yesterday they arrived. i could smell them through the box and ziploc they were in. heavenly! 

today, i jaunted into the liquor store with a baby on my hip (because i am always a classy person) and picked up a giant, look-what-a-lush-i-am bottle of bourbon. i then went home and made me a big old mason jar of vanilla. 

(note the lid. that's right, i save spaghetti sauce jars, too. don't hate me because i'm a cheapskate.)
i'm really stupidly excited about this. i can't wait until it starts to develop. i can't wait to hand out little bottles of brown vanilla joy to passersby on the street, while my halo of benevolence is shining behind me. the fortunate people of tampa, florida, will go home clutching their precious extract and telling their children bedtime stories about the crazy vanilla lady who tosses around small glass bottles with reckless glee.

on a side note, i also used to hate the color pink and would mercilessly mock those who wore it or used it in pretty much any context. and now i sort of guiltily like it. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME.


jen smith said...

girl, i share jars too. they come in handy when we make our own!
and this is completely weird, because just today, jim was eating venison jerky (double ick) out of a mason jar. when he first offered me some, i was like "oh! is that vanilla!?" and everyone laughed. i honestly thought it was! but to see that you actually have vanilla in a mason jar makes me feel much better! (and slightly psychic:)
good luck! i can't wait to hear how it turns out :)

foldreformer said...

I love to save jars too. I mix salad dressing in them, and send Aaron to work with baby food jars of dressing for his salad. The other day I noticed V using one for her drink and I think that is being resourceful.

On another note, one of the little one liners about myself that has been going through my head lately is this: " I did something I thought I'd never do, I bought vanilla flavoring". Sad, sad, sad, any one who finds any joy in baking would surely understand my shame, but, alas! it has been done. I'm meaning to buy a bottle of the real stuff from Sam's club where at least I can get my moneys worth, but I've always wanted to infuse my own, maybe I'll break down and try it too, a nice Christmas gift that would make for neighbors and friends :O)

Jenn Grigoryev said...

yuck, i keep thinking of venison jerky floating in bourbon in a cupboard somewhere...

and vanilla FLAVORING?? get thee behind me, grossness!! ha ha. i actually bought some once on accident, it was the worst batch of cookies i ever ate.

rachel.lyn said...

hahahaha....i actually just laughed out loud at jen smith's comment about my dad's disgusting venison jerky! EW. that is hilarious that you thought he was offering you vanilla! hahaha...

anyway, jen, i would gladly accept some of this. i am a lover of vanilla.

and ps- i keep thinking about your fresh tomatoes...can't wait until those babies come in! YUMMMM!