I love to cook and I love using a clean vanilla extract, which is hard to find anymore. So I make my own.
I start with some good alcohol....not vodka. Straight, pure alcohol. Nothing less than 151 proof, the 190 even better. Six vanilla beans go into the bottle, which is then re-capped tightly and placed in a brown paper booze bag and set away in a dark closet for no less than 6 months.
The bottle on the left hasn't been opened yet but will be getting the beans seen here. The bottle on the right is a year in the making and is ready for use. If you want to make something for the little lady/baker in the house, make them a jug of vanilla. This is the best vanilla I have ever laid my hands on and puts to shame all those black Mexican vanillas.