Tag Archive: vanilla



Today on Cooking with Ghostie, I’m going to show you how to make flavor extracts.

Now you might be saying, “But Ghostie, why would I want to make my own extracts?”

Who’s writing this blog, me or you? You’ll damn well learn what I tell you to learn.

Also, it’s a great way to have flavors you would not normally be able to find in a grocery store, as well as the more “normal” flavors like orange, vanilla, lemon, cinnamon, and the like. Love lavender? Crave cumin? Desire dill?  Make some extract. (Technically this process makes an infusion, but I’m calling it an extract because they are used interchangeably with store-bought extracts.)

Here is what you will need;

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This stuff.

– A clean jar

– The herbs and/or spices you wish to make the extract with

– booze

Now here is the labor-intensive* process by which these extracts are made.

Step 1.

Place the herbs and/or spices in the jar. I’m using a mix of four teaspoonfuls of peppermint and four teaspoonfuls of spearmint in a pint jar. You can use less, but the flavor will not be as intense.

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Like so.

Step 2.

Fill jar with you booze of choice.

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Like so.

I’m using vodka since it’s “tasteless”, but you can use anything really. Lavender made with brandy, rosemary made with gin, vanilla made with bourbon;depending upon what you are making the extract from, your choice of alcohol can improve the flavor. Mother Dearest has made some vanilla extract using my good bourbon and it’s amazing. You can use the cheap stuff and get very good extract, but if you spring for the higher shelf stuff you can make some wonderful extract.

Step 3.

Put lid on jar.

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Like so.

Step 4.

Label jar with contents and date, and then put somewhere dark for several months.

That’s it.

You can make a stronger extract by straining out the material after a couple of months and adding more, topping off with more booze if desired, and letting it sit for longer.

Once your extract is at the strength you desire, you can use it in the place of store-bought when cooking. Just use your imagination. Substitute lavender for vanilla when making cookies, add a bit of rosemary and lemon when you roast a chicken, put some garlic in your bread dough, anything. I personally like to add a teaspoon of lavender extract to a glass of water; Mother Dearest says it’s like drinking perfume but I think it’s very refreshing when I get tired of plain water. It’s kinda like a homemade version of those flavored waters that are so popular now.

*Not really.


I can’t seem to think of anything interesting to write today.

I can think of plenty of things, but nothing I could coherently form into sentences and put into something resembling an interesting post. Here’s what I’m thinking of right now;

Skeletal trees, ghost trees, the white glowing bark.

Bark.

Bark.

Bark.

That’s a weird word – Bark. 

Dogs bark.

Dogs like trees.

Trees have bark. 

Cats sharpen their claws on tree bark.

Cats don’t like dogs. Or is it that dogs don’t like cats?

We take tree bark and pile it around other plants, but it’s the skin of a larger plant. That’s strange. 

Our skin is like leather.

You can tan leather and dye it all different colors.

It would be awesome if you could dye your skin different colors. Like a tattoo but different.

You can’t tan your skin, it would probably kill you.

I bet Sharpie could make skin dye markers. That would be awesome.

I’d like to be purple. Or maybe turquoise.

Can trees be ghosts? Does Home Depot hold the fractured spirits of millions of vanished lives?

Do carrots feel pain? 

Can you coerce a vegetable?

What does strawberry brandy taste like?

White chocolate doesn’t have any chocolate in it, it’s just cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla.

I like vanilla.

I wish there was a vanilla-flavored melon. I bet that would taste good.

Nails are weird. What purpose do your nails serve other than to have something to scratch with?

I bet strawberry brandy would be good on vanilla ice cream.

Pudding.

Pudding.

 Pooh-“ding!”

Pudding’s a weird food. It’s not a solid but it’s not a liquid.

I wonder if you could make pudding into a non-Newtonian solid. That would be interesting.

Non-Newtonian Pudding.

I wonder if you could make a non-Newtonian cheese.

More foods should be available in aerosol form. Like ham. Or salsa. Maybe peanut butter, but not the chunky kind.

Chunk.

Chunk.

Chunk a bunk.

Chunky bunky Bunk-Bunk-Bunk.

Bunco.

Bunny comb.

Bunny combovers.

Cockscomb.

My ears are ringing.

Raspberry brandy would probably be better on vanilla ice cream.

Or chocolate.

 But not white chocolate, that would be too sweet.

Hey look – I wrote a blog post!