A Last Minute Foodie Gift

Looking for a last minute gift? I received a fabulous present from a great friend of mine at our annual open house last week. It was a Make Your Own Vanilla Extract Kit. Produced by Vancouver’s own Maison Cote (www.maisoncote.com), it was a glass bottle with five whole organic vanilla beans and a recipe for the extract ($10). Add a small bottle of vodka and your gift recipient is ready to make the extract plus have extras for mixing a couple of martinis! So simple and unique.

Available at Edible British Columbia in Granville Island. Or for those who would like to create their own kits, here is the recipe below:

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup (sugar water) added to the extract to give it a sweet aftertaste. You can do this if you want, but if you are using the vanilla for baking, there really is no need.

INGREDIENTS

5 vanilla beans
200 ml. vodka

METHOD

Use clean kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.

Put vanilla beans in a bottle with a cork. Cover completely with the vodka.

Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.

Lasts for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.