The chopped cranberries stained my fingers as I continued to pile them into the mason jar, if only I had known before, we would never have bought extracts. I placed a handful (12 to be precise) in a cup of water, so that the skins might wrinkle and shrivel off to reveal their milky white bodies. Whatever did not easily peal off, I used my finger nail to scrape off. Once pealed and bare of skin, they were finely chopped and thrown into a sterile mason jar. With both cranberry and almond jars open, I poured the 80% alcohol in to make my pure extracts.

Honestly, I have never seen such pure extracts at an affordable price for home cooks. As an aspiring gourmet home cook, I’ve found that it is much easier to just make the expensive oils and extracts myself. I have the time and all the ingredients can be found at a local grocery store. I suppose, the aspiration to make everything from scratch came from the feeling that it just wasn’t fair that the pure vanilla extract was $20 at our local specialty store, I’m just simply to poor. But why should my cooking be any less tasty then those found at Diana’s or La Circe?! Thus, in an attempt to be a better cook

I will make everything from scratch, starting with the things I simply won’t part so much money for, especially when it is so simple to make at home!

With spices, alcohol, fruit and enough patience to last two months I’ll have a great deal of cooking supplies that will be well worth more then what it goes for in stores but will have even more value because of the home cooked quality. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be more accessible to home cooks. I’m starting to feel a bit like Julia Child and her quest to make good food only exclusively for the French accessible to the average American home cook, as I refuse to give in to the umami of expensive accessories for food and I will make an expensive pantry for little to nothing.

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