Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Homemade Vanilla

The resident child (hehe) has been studying a bit about herbs of late. And it has been on our plans to make homemade vanilla extract for quite some time. 

Obviously, not something he can do on his own... He can cut the beans, he can drain the extra fluid, he can drop in the beans, label it all and seal it up, he can store it. 

But I had to make purchase. My first alcohol purchase of my life! The things we do for our children! It does seem ironic I just purchased an alcohol for my son, though! 
(for the record, I am not opposed to alcohol, I just don't tout it or drink very much, and I have not had a reason to purchase it before now.... wait.... when I lived in Belgium, I bought some wine to bring home to family, but that was a different culture - alcohol was out with the sodas!). 

Grandma was given this kind of rum/vanilla; and we
were so happy to find it stocked at Kroger.
It has fantastic flavor, so we are excited! 

The beans we purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs

We have the "1oz Vanilla Bean organic and fair trade" and it smells right! ;) I do wonder if we got quite the driest beans (apparently you are supposed to use grade B beans - but I also wanted fair trade, etc). These seemed more most than I anticipated. So we'll see. Either way, it will work from what all sources say - it's just a nuance ;)

He has been looking at the history of the use of vanilla - and true to Montessori style, we want to look at the PEOPLE involved. Most fascinating is that a 12 year old child worked out how to hand-pollinate the vanilla so that it could be grown outside of the Latin America countries. 

Forget gold and corn and other such things - the greatest gift that the Europeans found in the Americas: VANILLA! 

Ever had chocolate without it? 

We did! Never again, thank you! 

Vanilla brought chocolate to the impoverished Europeans! And now they make the best chocolate in the world. One plant changed the world! One little boy's discovery! 

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