It was in the plans for a long time already. Last year I received some home made vanilla extract from my friend Debbie. I haven't used anything else since. But now there's only a few drops left.
Yesterday I finally got out my vanilla beans, bought some vodka, split the beans, scraped out some of the seeds (got lovely smelling hands!), put it all in the bottle and in about 8 weeks, with a weekly shake and a hiding in a dark closet my homemade vanilla extract will be ready. Dark, syruppy, vanilla-y, pure, fragant gorgeous vanilla extract.
How to do it? Uhm...get some vodka, get some vanilla beans, split, mix, and wait.:-)
And read more here.
Do read all the comments as well for tips on what other alcohol you could use instead of vodka.
Since I had lots of vanilla, a whole bottle of vodka and no jar or other, smaller bottle available I decided just to infuse the whole bottle and I used about 10 vanilla pods for that. It also ment I did not have to sterilize my jar :-).
There'll be no shortage of vanilla extract in this house for a while!!
PS. Vanilla extract works wonders for smelly fridges, I learned last week after leaving half an onion in uncovered (blegh!). The usual trick (leaving some bicarb of soda in the fridge to absorb the odour) did not work so I searched online and found this tip: clean the fridge with hot water with 3 tablespoons of bicarb, and a splash of vanilla. It worked like a charm!