A week or two ago I came across this tutorial from Bethany Actually via Pinterest. And as y’all know, I can never resist the opportunity to take a simple task and make it infinitely more complicated. So I almost immediately ran to the Container Store and Whole Foods for a tiny little glass carafe and some vanilla beans ($11.99 for two! Ridiculous! Next time I’m ordering from here or something), and set to work.
Yes, as Aliya so astutely predicted on Monday’s post, I have decided to make my own vanilla. (Because apparently the stuff in the little bottle from Trader Joe’s just isn’t good enough for me anymore).
But on Sunday morning when I set out to undertake this, I realized: I had a tiny little glass carafe, and I had vanilla beans, but I had no vodka.*
So I made a last-minute run to the Schnucks just around the corner. In my Fluevogs and – as I realized only when I was standing in the grocery store – vintage-styled apron over my dress. I was the very picture of housewifelyness (if only I had curlers in my hair…).
So I was standing at the liqour/cigarettes/money orders counter there in the ghetto Schnucks before noon on a Sunday, wearing my apron and heels, and politely asked the clerk, “I’d like to buy a small bottle of vodka, please.”
She looked at me as though I were an alien fresh onto Earth, making an earnest but ill-suited attempt at blending in.**
“Something…expensive? And I don’t need much – only half a cup for a recipe.”
(Pardon me, Kate. Your dorkiness is showing.)
I got the alien look again, and then the clerk gingerly held up a 200ml bottle of Absolut: “This is $7.55. Is that expensive enough?”
This was getting more awful by the second. I was just about at my awkwardness limit for the day, and it was only 10am. I paid for the little bottle of vodka and ran out as quick as I could, pausing only to take off my apron and stash it in the passenger seat of my car before I finished my other errands.
And then, to spare myself any further humiliation, I… told you all about it. (When will I learn?)
But yes. Vanilla. Here is how to make vanilla, in three easy steps:
1)Pretend to chug your $7.55 little bottle of Absolut:
2)Cut up a couple vanilla beans (in half and then sliced lengthwise), then rub your hands together so they smell like wonderful vanilla goodness for the rest of the day, and so you look like a total perv sitting there smelling your fingers all evening:
2a)Put your vanilla beans into your tiny little glass carafe from The Container Store. Arrange them like miniature teepee poles:
(Here it is acceptable to pause momentarily and wonder what it would be like to live in a vanilla-scented teepee.)
3)Pour in vodka, obtained on Sunday morning from the ghetto grocery store while wearing an apron and heels:
And TADAAAA! Vanilla-in-progress!
Now I just need to let it steep for a month. It’s been three days so far and it’s already quite dark, so maybe the full month isn’t strictly necessary, but the more vanilla-y the better, right?
More telling, though, is that Jeff didn’t question this at all. I guess he’s used to my antics by now: “What’s that? You’re going to make an ingredient out of ingredients, at a much higher expense and trouble? OK, whatev.” I guess at least this way he knows I’m not off roaming the streets stirrin’ up trouble.
*We don’t really keep hard liquor in the house. We’re not Puritans or anything – we usually have a couple varieties of snooty microwbrew in the fridge and a bottle or two of wine on the rack – but having hard liqour around just isn’t really our thing.
**Coincidentally, that’s frequently how I feel as well.