Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. As I've written before, every year we give a little Christmas Eve party and I give out some kind of homemade goodie at the end of the evening. This year I wanted to do the fun DIY thing of making your own vanilla extract. I go through so much vanilla extract and the good stuff is so expensive. I love the idea of making your own from good vanilla beans and then just adding vodka to it to keep it going - after all, that's all vanilla extract is, really - alcohol and vanilla beans. All you do is pour unflavored vodka into a glass jar, cut a couple of vanilla beans in half and then split them and stick them into the bottle. You need to let this steep for a couple of months until it is ready to use. I started all these bottles in October, to give out at Christmas. So everyone got a bottle of vanilla extract and a little bag of caramels topped with Sicilian Sea Salt, which I made.