Home Made Vanilla Extract
First, take a flat 35cl bottle of (cheap!) Vodka*.
Second, take 3 good quality Vanilla Pods - I get mine HERE (highly recommended!)
Slice the Vanilla Pods down their length leaving approx 1 inch (2.5cms) intact, (mine had lost their 'plumpness' as they're about 14 months old, but are still full of flavour!)
then push them into the Vodka bottle.
Replace the lid tightly and place into a dark cupboard.
Shake each day (or when you remember!) for 6 to 8 weeks. The liquid will slowly darken....until it looks like this.
It is then ready to decant (WITH the pods) if you wish and use in your recipes in the normal way :o) As you use it up - or pass on as gifts** to friends who cook - keep topping up with Vodka, if you feel it's getting a little pale just add another split pod. Mine was originally started in 2009.
*You can also use Rum, but I prefer Vodka as it doesn't alter the flavour.
**Either keep old Extract bottles or have a look on E-bay.
They're easy to 'pretty-up' with a label and a raffia bow.
(Though I'm sure your's will be prettier than mine)
Hope that'll save you some dosh :o)
Best wishes to all.