A Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gift (That Smells Divine)
Is there anything more luxurious than the vanilla bean? Aside from the fact that they grow on orchids, the beans (known as tlilxochitl, “the black flower,” by the Aztecs) emit a fragrance that is almost otherworldly. All reasons why the seductive vanilla bean is the perfect candidate for a modern Valentine’s Day gift.
Alexa, associate editor at Remodelista, first spotted this idea for creating heart-shaped vanilla bean ornaments in last year’s Retro Valentine’s Workshop at Echo Park’s Cookbook Grocery and filed away the idea. This February, she is making the little hearts to send to loved ones to hang in their kitchens and eventually use for a number of infusions. Want to try the project yourself? Here are the sources and step-by-step instructions below.
Above: The inspiration: black hearts hanging on the wall at Cookbook Grocery in LA (available for $14 each at the shop).
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- 4 fresh vanilla beans (you’ll want them in a very malleable state)
- Black cotton thread (Gutermann Black Forest Thread for $1.23 from Amazon) or waxed linen (50 yards of Waxed Irish Linen Cord for $4.75 from Amazon)
- Pair of snips or kitchen scissors like Burgon & Ball’s Topiary Trimming Shears for $23
- 4 Clothespins; $4.57 for a pack of 40 pieces from Amazon.
Above: Twist two sets of two vanilla beans tightly together and secure at the top and bottom with clothespins.
Above: Work the shape of the twisted beans into a heart-like curve. Cut two lengths of thread or waxed linen to tie at each end.
Above: Twist the bottom of the heart together and secure with a tight knot. Wrap the thread in and out of the twisted vanilla beans to make sure they’re tightly intertwined.