Over at one of my favourite blogs, assortment, Carmella runs a weekly series called "Do what you can with what you have" and it's all about contentment and resourcefulness. Here is my addition to the series.
An old jar, just the right size, from the apple sauce lovingly carried from home. You know, the one that brings back the memories, and that is best eaten slowly, careful spoon by careful spoon. A vanilla pod, dried out and not looking like much, chopped into small pieces. Sugar, just normal sugar, from the store in a crisp paper bag. Time, sat in the cupboard between the flour and the raisins, for that day when the recipe calls for it. "Vanilla sugar, 200 g". A generous pour, to be mixed with the butter and the eggs, and then that moment when the vanilla pieces are carefully picked back out and put back into the jar. More sugar from the paper bag, a good shake, and back it goes in the cupboard, between the flour and the raisins, for that day when the recipe calls for it.
Making vanilla sugar at home is extremely easy. Get a clean dry jar, a pack of sugar and 1-2 whole vanilla pods. Chop the pods into a few smaller pieces (or don't, really), top up the jar with sugar and mix the pods in. Leave it to sit for a minimum of a few days, and just use instead of normal sugar in a recipe. When using some, just top the jar back up with fresh sugar, give it a shake and put it back on the shelf. The pods last, and will release flavour, for a long time.