I may be a novice baker, but my daughter and I are experienced at making one of baking’s most common ingredients – Vanilla Extract. We begin with really good Vanilla beans, which we split and scrape. Then we let them sit for months in vodka, giving the jug an occasional shake. I always use Vanilla Vodka, but I doubt that’s necessary. I’m not sure our Vanilla Extract is better than good store-bought Vanilla Extract, but around this time of year, Harriet makes special labels for her teachers and bottles the extract. It does make a nice little home-made gift.