I am determined (as I am every year) to start early with homemade Christmas gifts in order to avoid last minute stress and expense.
As of now, I can officially say I have started my holiday gift making (I actually started on Monday but that gift is more secret). Last year, homemade vanilla was all the rage on the internet (Catherine Newman, among others). But since it has to extract for a while it wasn't an ideal start-on-December-20 gift idea. I'm hoping it's an ideal start-on-September-15 gift idea. I'm thinking for pre-school teachers and other folks who you want to gift but don't know well enough for anything too personal. I'll also add a little vanilla recipe book....
The reason this is technically a regift is the vodka. My sister (who has traveled to Russia twice in the last year!) brought back this vodka for my parents. Who don't drink vodka. Nobody in our family drinks vodka. So I adopted the bottle, added beans from Arizona Vanilla Company, followed instructions from Instructables and now I'm turning it into vanilla. Hopefully. It was about 2/3 a bottle of vodka (we did at least sample the gift). I assumed that was about 2 cups and I added 13 chopped and scraped beans. I'll let you know.
If you know me, you're probably getting food for Christmas. Hope that's okay.