I found a thread late last year on OrchidGeeks about making your own vanilla extract. I never realized this could be done, but after reading the thread, I realized how ridiculously simple it is.
So fast forward a few months, and here's my attempt!
I highly recommend VanillaProductsUSA, the beans were super cheap and their shipping was fast. Their recipe calls for more beans in less vodka and with a shorter wait time, but I decided to go with less beans but a longer brew. I plan to make up some bottles of this for Christmas this year, so this stuff has plenty of time to....mature? I have no idea what to call it.
And here's all the beans chopped up and dumped in the bottle. The vodka started to turn color almost immediately, so that's a good sign! Bad news is I had little black vanilla seeds all over EVERYTHING as I was chopping up the beans. Good news is it made my whole house smell like vanilla :)