What are your resolutions for 2022? Not much of the resolution type? According to DiscoverHealthyHabits.com, in 2019, eight percent of participants failed to keep their resolutions and 57% refused to make a resolution at all. At The Blind Pig Blog, we fall into the camp of resolution makers. We believe the new year is a time to reflect on accomplishments and set goals to be the best version of yourself. We have used Jon Gordon’s One Word Challenge, to help keep us on track. (Rhonda’s one word this year is health.) A new motivation that we will be using this year is from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, which encourages you to have an overall goal with a mantra or question attached. For example, “What would a healthy person do?” Your key question is supposed to help you make choices that stay on track with your goal. When faced with eating a piece of chocolate cake or choosing a banana for an after-work-snack, one should ask themselves, “What would a healthy person do?”
After more than a month of enjoying delicious cocktails and eating rich foods through the holidays, we are ready to give our bodies time for a little cleansing and rejuvenation. For our first post of 2022, we will not be sharing a tantalizing cocktail or a sugary dessert, we are going to share a hack that Rhonda has used for years. A cold January day is the perfect time to try this out.
We are DIYers to an extent. Craig has replaced our whole fence around the backyard on his own (2021 goal), and Rhonda is not afraid to improve a room with a roller of paint and a weekend to spare. However, there are certain things that we will not cross the line. For example, we are not in to the rigorous process of making our own marshmallows. Buying the Kraft marshmallows from our local Kroger works for us. But we do make our own vanilla extract, and believe it or not…it’s quite simple!
First you need to have vodka or bourbon on hand. Vodka makes a more pure extract, but bourbon can give the vanilla a richer flavor. Another thing to keep in mind is that premium vodka goes for about $50 and bourbon prices can go for much more. If price is of interest to you, you may want to use vodka as your base. (We used vodka.)
Purchase vanilla beans from your local grocery store. We found ours at Kroger in the spice aisle. Stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods also have vanilla beans on hand. Cut the vanilla bean in half crosswise and place into a clean jar or bottle. Make sure that the jar or bottle you plan to use has a lid or cork that will have a tight seal. We found our bottles at World Market.
Cook vodka in a saucepan for 5 minutes over medium heat. Make sure not to cook longer and keep an eye on the saucepan. Cool vodka slightly and use a funnel to pour about 1 cup into each bottle. Cover jars tightly and let stand at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. You can keep your vanilla for up to a year. If you start to run low, you can add more vodka to the jar to replenish. The vanilla extract gradually turns a darker color as the vodka becomes infused by the vanilla.
Make a bottle for yourself and a couple to keep on hand as a hostess gift. The homemade gift will be extra special. Enjoy the start to your new year. We would love to hear what new goals and hopes you have for the year.