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Stupid Vodka bottle! June 25, 2011

Posted by Judy in Musings.

Did you know that vanilla extract has alcohol in it? Actually, the liquid is all alcohol. I had NO IDEA! Apparently, the alcohol is used to extract the vanilla from the vanilla bean, in a similar way that you make vanilla sugar by putting vanilla beans in the sugar. Anyway, so vanilla is basically vanilla flavored alcohol, sort of. Hmm, I wonder if the fact that I use vanilla makes me a bad little Adventist? A topic for another day, I suppose. For today, on with the Vodka bottle.

So, I discovered that vanilla extract was basically alcohol and that it was preposterously easy to make.

1. Get alcohol (Vodka or Rum)
2. Get vanilla beans (I got mine for SUPER cheap from the coop.)
3. Place the alcohol and beans in an airtight bottle, seal, let sit for a few months . . . . enjoy!

Super easy, right? Well, given that I’m becoming somewhat of a foodie, I just HAD to try this out. So off to Meijer’s we went, straight to the booze section. Yes, I felt weird looking at Vodka bottles with three little ones in tow, with two of them touching every bottle on the shelf. I was just envisioning the whole aisle of booze crashing down on us! Anyway, I found the cheapest bottle of Vodka and headed to the checkout stand. Of course, I was carded, not because I’m stuck at 16, but because everyone gets carded. The clerk entered by bday info into the machine and sent us happily on our way.

As things go in our house, it took us a few days to get around to making the extract. The babes grabbed their Learning Tower, climbed in, and I grabbed the Vodka bottle and vanilla beans. The bottle had this bizarre looking black thing on top, so I set out to get that off. Brute force did no good, neither did a screwdriver, a hack saw, a knife or a meat tenderizer (I was using it like a hammer . . . don’t ask.) An hour later, there was no dinner on the table, the kids were bored, and I was not even close to getting it open. I had managed to somehow break the seal of the bottle because Vodka would leak out when it got tipped over. But, I still couldn’t get the black thing off. A Google search revealed that the black thing was some security device that could be removed with the removal tool, which would cost a mere $40. Uh, no, I wasn’t paying 4 times the amount I had paid for the Vodka itself.

The offending Vodka bottle

After dinner, DH decided to try his hand at getting it open. First he took a regular old saw to it and had more success than I had with the dull hack saw.

Then he used a screwdriver

and managed to get part of it off.

Then, back to the screwdriver

to get some more off

and the little alarm

and finally, success!

By this point, it was 10:30, and the babes were already in bed, so the vanilla project would have to wait, yet another day.

The next day, I grabbed the babes, Vodka and vanilla beans and set to work. The beans got cut lengthwise and then dumped into the Vodka bottle, which then got put up in a cabinet. The whole process would have only taken about 5 minutes had the bottle not been so impossible to open. Stupid bottle!

I was at an estate sale today and found a nice bottle with a cork in it for $0.50. I decided that would be a MUCH better home for the vanilla extract than the troublesome Vodka bottle. Looks nicer, too.

So now, we wait until the end of the summer before trying out our new, endless supply of vanilla extract.


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