Here... have some sugar.
Remember the $40 in wasted vanilla beans?
After scraping out the insides of 10 vanilla bean pods for a powder that NEVER POWDERED (I'm still a little bitter about that, can you tell?), I tossed those mostly emptied pods into a ziploc and stored them in the freezer because I knew I'd find a use for them when the food fog lifted and I was ready to re-embrace my kitchen.
This morning, I made vanilla sugar:
You don't even need a recipe. You put two vanilla bean pods into a jar and pour in some sugar. Seal it tight, shake it, and don't open it for a day or two... then, enjoy however you'd like. When the sugar runs out, you just add more to the jar. The pods should release fragrance and flavor for about 8-12 months.
Along with a splash of whole milk, I like just a half teaspoon of raw sugar in my coffee every morning, and this vanilla bean-infused raw sugar doesn't make my coffee taste vanilla-y at all (Jean-Luc!)*. It just makes it more smooth and lovely and coffee-y.
I've got many more pods in the freezer, so when these start to lose their luster, I'll start anew.
What kinds of ingredients do you like to re-purpose? Any cooking accidents you've been able to salvage? How so? Hit me in the comments, and I'll pick someone at random and send them a jar of vanilla sugar.
*Snort.... Jean-Luc. I remember thinking, when I was in junior high, how cool it was gonna be when I grew up and could drink that stuff. Only now, I know... IT'S NOT COFFEE!
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