Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movin' On Up

FamilyNatural is moving. Taking that big 'ole leap from Blogger to Wordpress. It's been coming for a long time, and as I've been working on the new site, trying to get the most important things in place, I've lost my posting habit. That's one reason I haven't been saying much lately.

Well, the most important things are in place, and though it's not perfect (or how I envision it will be some day), it's good enough. One of my favorite Fly-isms is that "housework done incorrectly still blesses your family" I love that concept, and it can be applied in so many ways!

So, here goes. Come and see the NEW FamilyNatural here. Make sure you leave a comment so I know you've visited!

And, of course, I couldn't end this without a little Jefferson's music...

PS. Some of you have already been visiting the new site (and are reading this there) without realizing that it wasn't officially "open for business" yet. If this is you, well, "welcome" anyway! And leave a comment and let me know what you think. (That includes letting me know about any links that might be broken, etc.) Thanks for taking this journey with me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Story of Cosmetics

Interesting video. I definitely have a lot of progress to make in this area.

This text will be replaced by the player

How about you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Confession: We've been using imitation vanilla. As in Fake. As in, filled with chemicals and nothing good. And it doesn't even taste good! Why, you may ask? Well, to save money. Vanilla extract is expensive--and that's in the US, where it's made. Add import expenses and taxes to that, and, .....you can't even find it here without really looking. And when you do, you don't want to buy it because of the exorbitant price.

A while ago, I saw a recipe somewhere for making your own vanilla extract. I thought it sounded interesting, but did nothing about it as I didn't have the brain space and energy needed to hunt down real vanilla beans.

And then, the other day, I happened to find some.

I bought 3 for 20 shekels, which is about $5. Expensive, yes. But only about as expensive as ONE BOTTLE OF EXTRACT. And then I found that with those SAME 3 vanilla beans, I can make enough extract to last for YEARS!

I got mine brewing the other day and sadly need to wait 8 weeks. But then.....vanilla. In pancakes, desserts, drinks.....I love the flavor. Good stuff.

Here's the recipe, found at SimplyRecipes.com

How to Make Vanilla Extract
Commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup (sugar water) added to the extract to give it a sweet aftertaste. You can do this if you want, but if you are using the vanilla for baking, there really is no need.


  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup vodka
  • glass jar with tight fitting lid


1 Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.

2 Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka.

3 Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.

Lasts for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.

Searching on Vanilla for this post, I came across this music video. It'll bring you back. (I was unable to embed it here. Sorry!)
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