Well, yesterday was the big day. After 6 months of braces (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) I got the baby tooth extracted and now have a bracket on that elusive adult tooth. The dentist said the tooth was in a good place to come down and so far it’s going quite well. I feel like I’m all wrapped up in a warm blanket of God’s Grace and Goodness – nice and cozy.
Tera brought me home some beautiful flowers which are sitting on the table in front of me…
…Along with a bunch of cookbooks Grandma sent home for me to browse through and my latest knitting project.
I knit my first “real” scarf in November and when I say knit, I mean knit, since I didn’t know how to purl or do any other stitch. A dear lady, who is also a cleaning client, graciously invited us girls over and taught me how to read a simple pattern, purl, and “yarn over” so my second project was a buttoned neck warmer. From there I challenged myself with this lace scarf from The Purl Bee, a lovely site with free patterns. I have finally re-knit the same amount that I had to take out from a bad mistake, so I’m pretty happy about that. Hopefully, I’ll make it to scarf length before another disaster like that!
I finished another project last week that I have to share with you all – Mary Jane Baby Booties! We’re expecting a little niece this month (extra special since it’s my birthday month too! :D) and I wanted to make her something warm and cozy for her first winter months.
I had just finished trimming out a sheepskin parka I’ve had for years and had enough left over for a pair of booties and a hat.
Aren’t they darling?
I found the shoe pattern on Prudent Baby. They were so easy and only took a couple hours to hand sew. The hat I just made as I went since I couldn’t find a pattern. It’s hard to believe that these won’t be too small for a newborn. It was so much fun making tiny things! I have some sheepskin leftover – I think I’ll try something else. :D Addicted!
So, by now you’re probably wondering if this is still a cooking blog, right? It is, I assure you. In fact, guess what I’m making now…
That’s right! My own homemade vanilla extract! I was inspired by Cenk over at Cafe Fernando and, while I don’t use near as many vanilla beans as he does, I had a few in the cabinet that were slowly drying out. What better way to use them up than to douse them with vodka?
Here’s the beauty of making your own vanilla -
A 32 oz bottle of vodka costs 14 dollars.
10 Organic vanilla beans Grade 1 extraction (these beans are drier, therefore cheaper to get) for 8.99 from Amadeus Vanilla Beans (or a 1/4 lb for 17.99)
Total cost – 25 dollars. Compare that to buying Pure Vanilla from Penzeys (16oz for 40.99) or the store ( 4.95 for 4 oz.) and you save yourself approximately 56.98 for a 32 oz bottle of vanilla that will last most people a very long time. We go through about that much every year. My brother’s fabulous vanilla lattes are practically spiked with vanilla. :D
The other benefit to making your own vanilla is a bonus that comes with all things homemade – you know exactly what’s in it! Do you know how many “pure vanilla extracts” have corn syrup in them? Yeah, I don’t either, but I know McCormick’s does and a few other brands I picked up as I was looking in the grocery store. They sneak that heinous corn syrup into everything!
Well, that puts an end to my rambling post. Hope you all are having a phenomenal January!