Friday, February 24, 2012

Vanilla Extract - Take 2


As promised, here is a post from a pre-holiday project that has waited until now so as not to spoil any surprises.

You may remember that a couple of years ago I tried making vanilla extract. I posted on day 1 and day 30, but no final results. After the allotted couple months from the recipes I had found, it hadn't intensified and was basically vanilla infused vodka.

Original batch at 30days
This time I wanted more! So I did way more! I  used almost half a pound (buy in bulk online) instead of the few for the original batch and steeped them for six months! 

The result was an intensely aromatic and delicious vanilla extract.

The deep color and aroma of the extract is solely from the vanilla beans without any added colors, sweeteners or dilutes. It is absolutely divine and cost a fraction of store-bought bottles of similar size and quality. 

Most was given away as gifts and I still have more than I'll use in the next year.  I'll fill up the jar again and by the time I run out I'll have a whole 'nother batch.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We did it! I ran 5k!


We did it! We ran my first 5k race and ran every step of the way.

Since announcing the run a month before the race, my continued absence from this space has been very well occupied. I've spent at least one night in five different states and and traveled through five more several times each as well as continuing to train for the run.

Joe stayed with me the whole time and we clocked in at 42:10 which makes it a 13:35 minute mile. Based on how my runs had been going, I was aiming for around 45 minutes and am so pleased! 

 We're at the back right here. I'm carrying my coat. I brought a windbreaker to Joe's place on base but forgot it when we left to visit my aunt a few days before the race. Race morning it was 23 degrees when we arrived, so I started the run in my regular jacket and took it off when I warmed up.

It was so inspiring to run with such a vastly diverse group of people. There were people who walked every incline, people who sprinted and walked, the runners who did 5 minute miles and were done before we reached the half way point and so many like me - people challenging themselves to get off their butts (and buts) and do this.

Thanks so much for all the love and support, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next challenge.