Holiday Gifts: beginning
Moments of sanity are becoming less rare, and I am beginning to look beyond my keyboard during daylight hours. Of course I need to busy myself, and cleaning up the aftermath of the thesis can only hold my attention for so many hours a day, so I’ve begun thinking about holiday gifts.
I’ve been searching through Sew, Mama, Sew!’s handmade holiday posts for a week or so– randomly when I needed a break from editing or writing–and found a couple things that were inexpensive (as everywhere else, money is tight around here this year) and looked like things people might actually appreciate receiving. Number one on my list was Neverending Vanilla from Hungry Mouse. I loved the idea–homemade vanilla extract that can be replinshed just by topping off the bottle with vodka every so often.
Super simple, it took about 5 minutes to get these bottles going. She has nice pictorial instructions on her site, but here is a quick overview.
1. Save some likely bottles from your recycle and wash in hot soapy water, or otherwise “sterilize.” I used some empty Brianna dressing jars–they were a good size and had a nice lid.
2. Put 2 vanilla beans in your bottle. I found mine in the bulk section for about $1 each.
3. Pour vodka (or rum) over the vanilla beans to fill the bottle.
4. Cap up and shake. Place in a dark cupboard for about 6 weeks.
That should bring me right to the holidays. I only had two bottles on hand, but that’s about what I had in vodka anyway. I’ll probably try to save a few more bottles and get those going soon. I thought this was a fairly reasonable priced project: I estimate that it is about $4 for each bottle of Neverending vanilla, if you buy the cheap vodka.
Over the next few weeks I’ll work on designing the label, and check on them to make sure they are darkening up as described. Hopefully, I’ll update with a pic of the final product sometime before the holidays.
Meanwhile, I’ll be working on some other things. You can see my knitting in the background of the pic (I am not a knitter, but trying again), and I’ve got a few sewing projects prepped and ready to begin. I’ll also probably make some of these orange candies (or these ones), and definitely we’ve got fleur de sel caramels on our list this year (There is a recipe in SaltySweets cookbook, but also found a this one, and this one online).
What’s brewin’ in your homes?