Vanilla enhances creamy porridge and is
derived from the seductively aromatic vanilla bean. Vanilla
beans are actually the cigar-shaped seedpod from a fragrant
climbing orchid native to tropical America.
These orchid flowers
open once a year and must be hand pollinated since the Melipona
bee could never pollinate enough orchids for commercial use. The
green seed pod must be hand picked and then boiled. After
several months of heating vanilla beans in the sun and wrapping
them in blankets at night, they become thin and dark.
extract is then made by soaking chopped vanilla beans in an
alcohol/water solution. It takes about 100 beans to make 1
gallon of extract. If you prefer to use a vanilla bean, place a
small piece in the porridge and remove before serving.
2 cups fat-free milk
One Minute Cream of Wheat
drops vanilla extract
sugar or dark brown sugar
1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the milk, salt,
butter, Cream of Wheat
and vanilla over medium heat. Stir with a
whisk until large bubbles
pop on the surface or for about 4–6
2. Serve several large spoonfuls of porridge
topped with butter,
sugar and milk or half-and-half.
Use 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup water in place
of the 2 cups fat-free milk.
Book about Vanilla
The History of the Exotic Vanilla Orchid
This week I made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing
so vanilla was on my mind. I was happy to find this book about
the complete history of vanilla. I've read one other book on
Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid, and found the
subject fascinating. If I was to decide between the books I'd
choose this one because Patricia Rain is so passionate about her
subject. She did an immense amount of research to write this
book and the writing flows effortlessly. The topics are well
organized and each section of the book is enlightening.
The first half of the book is as much a history of Mexico as it
is about vanilla. There is also quite a bit of history about
chocolate. Patricia Rain gives an around-the-world tour of
vanilla as she describes how it is grown in various countries.
From what I can tell it seems she covers every country where
vanilla has ever been grown. To be honest the information became
a little overwhelming. I read the book in two days but I'd
recommend you take it in smaller doses.
One of the things I really enjoyed while reading this book was
the section on all the famous companies like Nielsen-Massey and
McCormick and how they got their start in the world. There is
also a discussion of favorite perfumes that contain vanilla. The
only thing Patricia Rain really doesn't cover is vanilla in
beauty products. She briefly mentions the use in soaps.
Personally I've tried: The
Body Shop Vanilla Spice Soap.
The recipes in this book all look delicious and all contain
vanilla. Some you might enjoy include:
Creamy, Dreamy Chocolate Vanilla Truffles
Light Vanilla Caramel Flan
What surprised me was how dangerous it is to grow vanilla. We
take this flavoring for granted and never consider how many
lives have been lost to grow and harvest vanilla. There is a
chapter on robbery and the problems farmers experience on a
Overall this is an excellent history of vanilla that is written
in a way that is enjoyable to read. I loved how well this
information was organized and can highly recommend this to you
if you have any interest in vanilla at all.
Here are some products I know you will love:
Rieme All Natural French Vanille Vanilla Syrup - 8.46 Fl Oz (250
Ml) - As far as I can tell this is the best vanilla syrup in the
world. Give it a try I think you will agree.
Vanilla Birthday Cake Lip Shine - You will love this. I was
wearing it while I reviewed this book.
Madagascar Vanilla Beans
Antiseptic, Vanilla Mint, 1.0 Liter (1 qt 1.8 fl oz)
Extract, Pure (Madagascar) 4fl.oz. - I use this in all my
Petals Chinese Vanilla Jasmine Hydrating Body Butter 6 oz. (170
Salt Scrub - Vanilla Orange, 16 oz
Willan: From My Chateau Kitchen - This book has a recipe for
infusing a pineapple with vanilla using vanilla beans. I made it
and it is incredibly delicious.
~The Rebecca Review