Vanilla is the 3rd most expensive spice, behind saffron cardamom (though some websites list it as the 2nd). From what I understand, it’s pretty labor intensive to harvest them….
When searching for fun, homemade food gifts, I stumbled on this website, Food in Jars. The author highlighted homemade vanilla as a great, easy gift (though a bit of a time investment). And the recipe cannot be simpler.
Vanilla beans (at least 5 or 6 per bottle), split in half
1. Split vanilla beans in half and drop into vodka bottle
2. Let sit for a couple weeks, turning the bottle from time to time.
I had a bunch of fun shopping for little bottle to bottle my vanilla. I found some great bottles at consignment shops, which I thoroughly cleaned. It will be a lot of fun to give these out. Plus, if you put a vanilla bean in the gift bottles, the recipient can add more vodka to get more vanilla extract from the bean!
I will post more pictures as the process evolves.