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Thread: October Frugals

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    WaitÂ…what?

    you make vanilla from vodka?
    It's pretty easy use 2-3 vanilla beans for every 8oz of vodka. With a sharp knife split the bean in half the long way and put into the container.I use mason jars, give it a shake once a day for two weeks and let it sit for 2 months in a cool dark place. If possible let it sit for 6-12 months since the longer it sits the more the flavors develop. For gift giving pour into amber glass bottles, add a pretty bow and label.

    I buy a pack of 25 vanilla beans from Amazon and divide them between two wide mouth quart jars. I add vodka one 1.75L bottle fills up both jars. That covered my baking needs plus gifts for a year pre covid.

    It's pretty easy to turn the leftover vanilla beans into vanilla sugar. With the tip of a sharp knife carefully scrape all the seed from the bean. Add to 1 cup sugar in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until the seeds are distributed in the sugar. Pour the sugar in a container. Once complete put the pods in the sugar. Let set for a couple of weeks then enjoy.

    If you're in a hurry add 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of sugar and mix well with a whisk . Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pour the sugar on the cookie sheet. Try your best to smooth it out as flat as possible. Wait 1-2 hours then break it up the best you can and put in a nice container.

  2. #72
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    I have been looking for all cotton long sleeve tee shirts for layering this winter. Mine are old and ratty. Knit items at the thrift store are very often too worn to last much longer so I decided to splurge on several at LL Bean. They were back-ordered so I canceled the order plus I really didn't see paying $30 for a tee shirt. On my next visit to the thrift store, I found an almost new LLBean tee shirt in my size and the exact color I was going to order. With 30% off for seniors, it came to just over $5. Yeah!!

  3. #73
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    That is awesome pinkytoe!!!!

  4. #74
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    Thank you, Hana, I will try these things with the vanilla--very cool.

  5. #75
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Hana: I've done the homemade vanilla with good results.
    Pinkytoe: What a great score, and amazing that it was your preferred color even!

  6. #76
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    you are making me miss thrifting, pinkytoe. Congrats on the great find.

    hana, I've been the recipient of homemade vanilla - it's wonderful! Thanks for the directions. I am saving them.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  7. #77
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    I was pleased with the pure Mexican vanilla I bought for $5.99/quart. It is the brand in a glass bottle with a rooster on it. Evidently, Mexican vanilla is less expensive because it is the only place in the world where the plant is naturally pollinated. In Madagascar the pollination is done by hand (instead of insect) which is a tedious process.

    **What difference does it make when a vanilla bean is pollinated by hand vs. naturally by a bee?
    As with everything related to nature, there is a powerful force at work. The main difference between hand pollination and natural bee pollination is that bee pollination has only ever taken place in Mexico. Outside of this location, it cannot happen. Hand pollination is exceptionally labor-intensive and very time-sensitive; it also requires constant monitoring over a specific time period. Both result in the same flavor profile, and there are just as many risks with bee pollination as with hand pollination.

    With hand pollinations, workers dedicate themselves to pollinating as many flowers as they can within the optimal timeframes. There is no room for error as poor pollination can severely hamper the harvest.

  8. #78
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    I was pleased with the pure Mexican vanilla I bought for $5.99/quart. It is the brand in a glass bottle with a rooster on it. Evidently, Mexican vanilla is less expensive because it is the only place in the world where the plant is naturally pollinated. In Madagascar the pollination is done by hand (instead of insect) which is a tedious process.

    **What difference does it make when a vanilla bean is pollinated by hand vs. naturally by a bee?
    As with everything related to nature, there is a powerful force at work. The main difference between hand pollination and natural bee pollination is that bee pollination has only ever taken place in Mexico. Outside of this location, it cannot happen. Hand pollination is exceptionally labor-intensive and very time-sensitive; it also requires constant monitoring over a specific time period. Both result in the same flavor profile, and there are just as many risks with bee pollination as with hand pollination.

    With hand pollinations, workers dedicate themselves to pollinating as many flowers as they can within the optimal timeframes. There is no room for error as poor pollination can severely hamper the harvest.
    I have heard some not so favorable things about vanilla from Mexico. Google "is vanilla extract from Mexico good?"

  9. #79
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    Not ALL vanilla extracts are good. The brand that I specifically specified is the one to get.

    Consumers should be cautious when buying vanilla in Mexico and other Latin American countries, the FDA advised. Look for "vanilla bean" on the label's ingredient list. Don't buy the product if it says "tonka bean" or has a vague ingredient list or no list.

  10. #80
    Senior Member boss mare's Avatar
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    I use Nielsen-Massey vanilla paste . DH got me a huge bottle of it and it lasts forever.

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