A gift always gets extra points if it's homemade. Start now and you can have vanilla extract on hand, ready to bestow on lucky bakers in December.
Slice vanilla beans lengthwise and cover with vodka (use 1 cup for every 2 beans). Seal and store in a cool place, shaking occasionally, for 2 months before using.
For a bargain on vanilla beans, order at marxfoods.com.