Making it a December to remember - A Winter Fairy's delight inside a jar in the form of vanilla sugar

And the countdown keeps getting closer to Christmas Eve. I'm still a bit behind on my wrapping and even on my making of Christmas gifts - I'm a regular Santa, I am! Last week I mentioned the many uses one can give to vanilla beans, once we've scraped the seeds, and I showed you a recipe for a vanilla extract, made with dark rum that will get your tastebuds singing.

But even though that one is my favourite way of still using the empty vanilla bean shells - and don't we all know by now how much I simply detest wastage? - I am also very particular to vanilla sugar. I really don't even know why, as I don't usually use sugar except for baking or cooking sweets. But there's just something that grips me by the strings of my imagination when I open up a jar with sweet, perfumed vanilla sugar inside it. Not the sinthetic thing, mind you.

I'm talking about the real thing, obviously, and trust me when I say the odour is quite different. There's something fairy like to the scent of proper vanilla sugar, well, at least to me, it puts into my mind the fantasy of a sugar fairy, a Christmas sugar fairy of sorts, that comes flying into our homes every night in December, leaving behind a scattering of scented, glimmering sugar. I sometimes let my mind run off like that, not only my mouth!

But the point is, fantasy and imagination are good things. That childish, inner belief in magic is a good thing. That small, hidden part of me that sees magic in things I find beautiful, that part of me that seems to wake up and make up stories in my head when I look at something that seems magical to me, that is something I fervently hope I can keep for the rest of my life. People say one has to grow up, and that when one does these things disappear, as if creativity, imagination and the quest for magic were undignified...

Magic is not only the hocus pocus, abracadabra, ilusion making of fairytales and Siegfred and Roy shows. Magic is tangible, at hands reach. I find magical anything that can make someone have their heartstrings pulled, and have their minds get carried away, anything that has you opening your eyes wide with joy and wonder at the possibilities presented to you is magic to me. Beauty is magic. Not the physical beauty of a lovely woman or a hawt man (though I am not immune to the magical charms of Zach McGowan and Benedict Cumberbatch or the magic in the eyes of Blake Ritson and Zachary Quinto, but that ain't the magic we're talkin' about here!!), the magic presented to the soul in one image, one vignette, one moment. Magic we can all create and share, should we choose to.

And yes, indeed, to me December is THE month to feel the magic surrounding us, to make our own magic and share it with those who are dear to us, be it friends, family, loved ones, neighbours. There can be a little magic in everything we do, if only we decide to believe it, and there can be beauty in our most mundane creations, as there is so much beauty in the mundane of nature around us, the way a leaf falls down to the ground when there's no wind blowing, the way the blue of the sky can just be seen through a speck in the dark grey clouds, the way frost covers your windows in the morning and the flae of a candle dances by itself to a silent tune.

So I find that sharing that magic is such a personal treat, I find it even more pleasing when I get to share it with people who normally do not see magic around them, who do not - unlike me - have their heads in the clouds just by looking at a decorated Christmas Tree, or listening to a Christmas song or two. Some times I find myself wishing I could be like those people, immune to the small details of beauty I seem t find and crave for every second, I wish I was not as riddled by imagination as I am, I wish my mind would sit still and not make up stories the whole time... but then I would be other than who I am and I have no wish for that!

So I am making some magic for the sharing, as I pretend to be that Christmas Sugar Fairy sprinkling the scent of Winter all around, and I am making some vanilla sugar to add to my Christmas hampers. This sugar added to strong black tea with a dash of milk is superb! And with some hot and bitter cocoa is even better! But it will work wonders as well drizzled over a few strawberries come Summer, or sweetning a cool lemonade when the heat is unbearable. And it's about as easy to make as the vanilla extract!

You will need:

  • one glass vial, with a lid that is hermetic
  • caster sugar (the quantity depends on how many vials you're filling)
  • one vanilla pod, deseeded, per vial
Cut the empty vanilla pods into chunks and put the inside the vial. Fill it up, but not to the brim, with he caster sugar and lid it. Shake vigorously to mix the vanilla with the sugar, and store in a cool, dry, dark place until you're ready to use it. The longer you let it infuse, the stronger the aromas and flavours will be. If you're gifting the sugar, make sure you inform the receivers about this detail, it makes all the difference!


  1. These holiday decor look so beautiful ♥

  2. que ambiente fantástico tão natalício conseguiste criar neste teu post!
    ó pá, captaste na perfeição a magia do natal!
    a ideia do açúcar baunilhado é perfeita!

    1. o açucar baunilhado ainda é melhor q o extracto de baunilha, acredita. e eu n sou de doces!!

  3. OLha eu tenho usado vanila sugar p as panquecas. Mas n uso açucar de todo, em nada! Deixei d usar. Isto aqui está TOTALMENTE XMAS, nem parece q andavas meio a não sentir o natal!! AT ALL!

    1. Estas fotos foram as que mudaram o meu ânimo ahahahah, a sério!! Tipo table turners! Depois delas fiquei bem mais animadita e o espirito manteve-se!


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