I want to provide a couple of links for great things to have for your Easter plans. Kids like those marshmallow peeps? The very clever Sarah at The Healthy Home Economist has a recipe for healthy homemade marshmallows HERE, which we are definitely going to make. Also, if you don't eat food with dyes, you likely don't keep food dyes around, so what in the heck are you going to dye your eggs with? Well, the equally clever Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet has natural egg dye using onions skins HERE. And lastly, so I am bringing something to the party, here are instructions for making homemade vanilla.
Firstly, buy an embarrassingly cheap bottle of vodka, from the absolute bottom shelf at the liquor store and try not to look too suspect while you do it. If you buy a 750ml bottle you can get two pint jars out of it. You will also need vanilla beans in bulk so check out the health food store or PENZEY'S has some. They are pricey and this is not the cheapest way to go. But you will find that most store brands add caramel color, artificial flavors and sugar. Yes, sugar. Even the Costco brand adds sugar. What the heck? I often bought it until I realized even it had sugar. Geez...
Firstly, place two beans in each of two pint jars, and don't worry about splitting them - just cut them in thirds so they will fit. Then pour your very hand sanitizer smelling vodka in a small steel pot on the stove. Heat just until it steams. Alcohol has a crazy low boiling point and you need the alcohol to make this extract so pull it as soon as you see steam. So why heat it? The added heat is a good idea because it enabled you to have vanilla in two weeks rather than two months because it speeds up the reaction. Pour the vodka into your canning jars, lid 'em up and put in a sunny window for two weeks. I have tried leaving it in a dark place and the sunlight does amazing things to the vanilla. It will darken over time but is ready in two weeks, just the beans in. The taste is far superior and the the fragrance when you open your container is to die for. Try yours side by side and you will never need to go back for store bought vanilla again.
I will be "out of office" until the Tuesday after Easter and won't even approve comments during that time. I hope that you enjoy this weekend with your family, whether or not you celebrate Easter, as I know we will enjoy our time.
He is risen!