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Old 09-14-2007, 05:49 PM   #11
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Hehehe... that sounds very cute... the froggy jelly jars.
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:12 PM   #12
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I think you could find something cute at one of the dollar stores, or Big Lots, etc. Just keep looking early and by the time you need it, you'll have it. I am sure your recipients will be very pleased!
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #13
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Thanks for posting the link, BettyR. I'm definitely going to be making vanilla extract for gifts this year, too.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:12 PM   #14
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Are the peppers on the pepper bush hot?? if so could I have some seeds.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hutchins View Post
Are the peppers on the pepper bush hot?? if so could I have some seeds.
Yes, they are very hot, much hotter than a jalapeno. They say that the smaller the pepper the hotter it is and these things are little firecrackers.

I would be happy to send you some seeds, just need an address.

Edited to add:
I keep my plant outside all year long but the temperature rarely gets below 40° here. Our climate is sub-tropical...rain forest type of climate. These pepper plants can't take a lot of cold so you will need to protect it from any weather that gets below 40°F.

This is my backyard; this picture was taken in December when my kids were home on Christmas break from school. This pepperbush is native to this region so that you will understand what type of conditions you will need to provide for it.

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Old 09-15-2007, 07:28 AM   #16
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I thought so to and you’re welcome. I can't believe that I paid $150.00 for 1/2 pound of vanilla beans at Whole Foods in Houston for Christmas gifts last year.
How did you prepare them as gifts, Betty?

Lee
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:42 PM   #17
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How did you prepare them as gifts, Betty?

Lee
I made some pepper jelly last year with some hot peppers that grow in my back yard. I attached seeds from the plant to the jelly jars.

Then I filled a large Tupperware type of container with 10 pounds of sugar and stuck the beans down into the sugar to distribute them evenly. I covered the container and let it sit for 2 months. At the end of the 2 months I had vanilla sugar.

I then purchased some small decretive glass jars that held around 2 cups each; I put 6 or 7 beans in each jar and filled the jar with the vanilla sugar and placed pretty ribbons on the jars along with index cards with recipes to use the vanilla sugar and the beans. I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the corner of each card and tied them to the jar with some of the ribbon.

We exchange gifts with my husband’s brothers and sisters and mine as well. We also have some very close friends that we include in our family gatherings. It can get very expensive very quickly so I try to make something myself that’s unusual that people will enjoy and that they would not make for themselves. Even at $150.00 for 1/2 pound of vanilla beans I got off cheap.

I plan to make up several liters of vanilla extract this year and find some decorative bottles to put it in. Then I will give the extract, some vanilla beans and the recipe on how to make more extract.

In my research into making vanilla extract I’ve come across the mention of infusing vanilla flavor into liquor with the purpose of drinking it. I plan to do some more research on that and I may include that into my gift giving since I have found such an inexpensive source of vanilla beans.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:42 PM   #18
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How does one make vanilla extract? I think that is an interesting idea for Christmas gifts.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:57 PM   #19
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How does one make vanilla extract? I think that is an interesting idea for Christmas gifts.
Read this thread: Making your own vanilla?

You will find out everything you always wanted to know about vanilla extract.
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