|Homemade vanilla extract, easy-peasy 1-2-threesie gift idea - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I talked before about making vanilla extract -- it's pretty basic: take a bottle of vodka and shove some vanilla beans in the bottle, let it sit. In a few weeks, you'll have at least the basic beginnings of liquid vanilla gold. If you had a vodka bottle-sized batch of vanilla extract in your pantry, siphon some of that tasty goodness off into some smaller bottles and label them up as a little gift for someone. Sharing is caring, and it always sounds impressive that you made it yourself. To gussy-up the bottles, I got some decorative oven mitts, shoved in a decorative tea towel, some silicone spatulas and a bar of baking chocolate to go with each bottle of vanilla extract. For a friend who loves to bake or just loves chocolate chip cookies, it's a sweet, easy gift where a lot of those items can be picked up at a grocery store. For someone who prefers cocktails over cookies, give it as a flavoring agent to add to a cocktail, along with a pair of highball glasses. If you've been steeping vanilla beans in bourbon, all the better to give to your cocktail nerd friends for a vanilla-flavored spirit.
|Share some flavor and sweetness - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
But, Wasabi, I don't have a giant bottle of vodka sitting in my pantry, shoved full of vanilla beans. What then? Well, if the vanilla beans aren't fully steeped, consider adding a label of "Do Not Open till (Almost) Next Xmas" to the flask of soon-to-be vanilla extract and throw in a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Chances are the recipient is wrapped up in their own holiday whirlwind and will be pleased to just let the science experiment of homemade vanilla extract take its course. I didn't say this would be the perfect gift, just one that could be fashioned as a last-minute holiday gift bail-out!
|From December 2011|
Meanwhile, as for the Prime, I'm in the home stretch of finishing off our own supply of holiday sweets for ourself and getting ready to settle in for a bit of a winter's nap. I love the holidays, it's a mad dash of crazy-busy energy getting things wrapped and out the door, and the reward is just feeling like I made the most of the season trying to let others know how much they mean to both the Mister and myself. Yes, I totally took shortcuts this year, doing a mix of homemade sweets mixed with store bought treats for some care packages -- Trader Joe's always saves my bacon when sending gifts to family in TJ-less Hawaii. I don't feel bad about it because there's only so many hours in a day and a big gift for myself this year was trying to give myself a spare moment's breath wherever possible. Time is the greatest luxury of all, and it's one of those gifts we can only give ourselves, if we can afford it.
A very Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all, and to all a good night, from the Prime.