**Update to add**- Vanilla can be bought online or at some grocery, natural and gourmet food stores. We have also had friends who were visiting some of the Florida Keys and other islands bring some home for us. They are much cheaper that way.
We learned how to make vanilla extract from a friend when he was showing my MIL how to make homemade angel food cake (btw- yummiest thing ever!).
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and commented! I'm getting all kinds of new ideas for posts here. Keep the requests coming!
Vicki gave me the idea to post this. Thanks, Vicki!
3 whole vanilla beans
1 quart brandy (We use J&B, but any will do)
Place the vanilla beans in the bottle of brandy. Re-cap tightly. Write the current date on the bottle. Let sit for 3 months, turning the bottle over and back once a day. After 3 months are up, you can remove the vanilla beans and discard. Use in any recipe calling for vanilla extract.
~To make sure you turn the bottle each day, place it on the counter top near your sink or coffee maker.
~Purchase small bottles and fill them with your homemade vanilla extract for gifts. You can even make your own labels on the computer!