Vanilla: Stage 1

When I first moved to Minneapolis, I had just graduated from college. I worked two low-paying part-time jobs and rented a room in a very cold house. In some ways, it was a lonely, scary time for me, but I also think of that time with a great deal of fondness. It’s a time I spent falling in love with this city and making the first steps towards friendships that have come to sustain me and shape my life here. It was a time in which I was charmed by simple things and open to possibility. I used to time my walks in the Lake Harriet rose garden to coincide with the sprinklers going off, and I used to ride my bike to Penzey’s Spices in Calhoun Square just to open the jars and smell everything.

This Christmas, my friend Angie bought me a gift card to Penzey’s and I got to float around the store enjoying the scents and reminiscing about that special time in my life. My first purchases were Madagascar vanilla beans and shallot salt. This morning I split open two of the vanilla beans and put them in a jar with some vodka in my first attempt at homemade vanilla extract. Below is a picture of how it looks now. In about two months, I should be back with an update and some recipes.

1 comment to Vanilla: Stage 1

  • I have been thinking about making homemade vanilla extract all week!(also from my vanilla beans purchased from Penzey’s). Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

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