Anyways, having been raised a food snob, I took some things for granted. For example, I always thought that everyone had a Kitchen Aid mixer in their kitchen. Yeah, not so much. I didn't know just how expensive they were until my husband (then fiance) bought me one for Christmas while I was still in college. I nearly had a heart attack.
Another assumption I used to have... I thought that everyone made their own vanilla extract.
When in reality, most people buy pre-made vanilla extract from the grocery store baking aisle. SHOCKING.
Actually, it's extremely easy to make your own vanilla. In large quantities. Here's what you'll need:
- Premium grade vanilla beans. They should be moist, not dried out. (If you can't find them in the grocery store, you can order them online.)
- A bottle of brandy, vodka, or rum. My mother prefers to use rum.
- sugar (my mom always adds sugar, but I believe it is optional)
It makes a fabulous Christmas gift if you rebottle it... but you have to start it now, stick it in the back of a cabinet, and forget about it until next Christmas!