I am sure that the dire financial situation faced by the nation and felt by all of us is on everyone's minds right now. Just remember, even when you are "scraping rock bottom," there is always something to look forward to--such as an amazing dessert. Many great desserts are made with vanilla flavoring. Here are some instructions on how to remove the seeds from the vanilla pod, to capture the most concentrated form of the vanilla essence.
Use a small paring knife to score open the bean. Follow the length of the bean, using the fibers to guide you down the wrinkled, elongated raisin-textured pod. After you split open the bean, use the back of the paring knife to scrape the moist crumbles of earthy vanilla seeds out of the tough vanilla skin. Then, use the seeds to flavor cakes, baked goods, candies, and more.
The soothing flavors of vanilla bean are the perfect for vanilla ice cream. Click here for a recipe that I recently used to make a vanilla ice cream.
I hope the pictures and the link inspired you to get cooking. Keep your hopes up, we will get through this rough financial patch together.