That was the subject of an email I recently got a work. The letter was from co-worker Mike to let me know our shipment of vanilla beans had arrived. This is my take from a $15 order of beans.
The larger pile on the left are cheaper beans from Madagascar. The smaller pile on the right arre Tahitian beans. The aroma of that many beans is pretty overwhelming. I was surprised how pungent they were through 3 layers of plastic (plastic wrap and 2 ziplock bags). So...what do I do with this many beans? The first project is extreme vanilla extract. I put about 2.5 ounces of beans in a bottle with some vodka. I'm using Lukssusowa potato vodka to keep the extract gluten free (my mother-in-law can't eat gluten). There are those out there that say the distallation process removes all the gluten and others that say they got sicking drinking allegedly gluten free vodka. Gluten free eaters seemed to agree that this brand was decent and I figured better safe than sorry. Here's the bottle ready to go into a dark spot with weekly (if I remember) shakings. There are too many beans in there to really see the beans. I should have taken a shot before I filled the bottle.
Other vanilla bean plans include ice cream and vanilla infused sugar. Anyone out there have other ideas?