Vanilla Bean Cream Soda

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We had new friends over for dinner tonight. We dined on classic picnic fare, the nicest batch of baked beans this side of our purple mountains, and a deep baking dish full of mac and cheese. There was grilled chicken and good conversation. We were having the finest of nights. Until…someone thought to mention the calendar.
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“Two and a half weeks until school starts.”
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It was said flippantly, a passing thought, mention of accepted truth. The conversation continued, but my mind stopped. So had my breath. So had my pulse.
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Two and a half weeks until school starts.
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What if I’m not ready? What if I’ve only thrice hiked purple mountains with my sunkissed babes? What if I’ve watched them a mere four times from the pool deck, hair wet, smiles plastered across their pink cheeks? What if the Ice Cream Truck has only driven the route in front of our home twelve times, and we’ve only bought over-priced popscicles ten of those times? What if I want to buy obscenely large slushies on steam-riddled afternoons, rather that stand in line for school supplies in over-crowded shopping aisles? What if I’d rather make homemade cream soda every minute of the year with four lovely children hanging on my heels, even if it means a bungle of toys on the kitchen floor, and an eternal mound of laundry, and full afternoons of grumpy siblings? What if I refuse to peek at the calendar until around this time next year?
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It seems I’ve got two-and-a-half weeks to swim in denial. Splash.
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Vanilla Bean Cream Soda
Keep things cool with a simple, homemade version of this soda shoppe classic. Thick with the flavor of fresh vanilla, served chilled in a tall glass, this homemade cream soda is a delightfully easy summer treat.
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of almond extract
1 quart soda water, chilled
Combine 1 cup of water with the sugar in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add . Boil over medium-high heat, until the sugar dissolves. Let syrup cool before stirring in the vanilla extract. In a large pitcher or bowl, combine with soda water, stirring gently to combine.
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For an extra-cool party effect: Serve in a large punch bowl with dry ice.
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Cherry-Cream Soda: Add 1 packet of cherry kool-aid and 1/2 tsp. almond extract for a beautiful, bright red soda/

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25 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Cream Soda”

  1. 1

    Grace to You on August 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm Reply

    I have to tell you how touching your story is, because I remember well my mom counting the days till my brother and I went back to school each year. It hurt.

    That is the least of the reasons we homeschool, but it certainly is a precious one to me…I want as much time with my children as possible. The years fly by way too quickly.

    It's worth thinking about, no?

  2. 2

    Annie on August 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm Reply

    I loved your story. The soda looks delish!! Oh heavens I guess I will have to make it! Thanks for always making my week with your heartwarming stories, beautiful photos and incredible recipes!

  3. 3

    Ashley on August 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm Reply

    Looks wonderful. My kids aren't in school yet, but I very much hope that when they do I miss them as much as you do. You must be a wonderful mother.

  4. 4

    apparentlyjessy on August 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm Reply

    I have to say that presented as nicely as you have, that drink looks to be the most refreshing I have ever seen… I just want to reach into my laptop and take a sip!
    I am sure you will find that your kids are just as sad about school holidays coming to an end as you are!

  5. 5

    screwdestiny on August 2, 2010 at 3:26 am Reply

    Wow. You're an amazing mother. It just had to be said.

  6. 6

    Natalie on August 2, 2010 at 7:39 am Reply

    I love how you always enjoy being with your children. In this day when everyone is in a hurry, I think this is a great reminder to stop and enjoy just being with our hisbands, with our children, with our loved ones!
    Thanks for such being an example of such a great lesson to learn.

  7. 7

    Amanda on August 2, 2010 at 10:07 am Reply

    This sounds so delicious. I've got to give this a try, my husband would love it!

  8. 8

    the sleepy time gal on August 2, 2010 at 11:20 am Reply

    looks amazing!

  9. 9

    Captain Chaos on August 2, 2010 at 12:10 pm Reply

    How is it that I've never found this blog before now?!?

    You are such an excellent story-teller and your recipes are divine!

  10. 10

    veggie wedgie on August 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm Reply

    Very interesting recipe-I love anything vanilla flavored :)

  11. 11

    mangiabella on August 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm Reply

    ohhh i have a soft spot for cream soda :) summer has been flying by at warp speed indeed! soak up as much of it as you can and stay in denial a little longer *hehe*, besides, I bet you do your best work under pressure anyway, am I right? school supplies et al at the 11th hour without missing a beat LOL….

  12. 12

    Elizabeth on August 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Oh how I love cream soda, this sounds so simple and delicious! Everything is better with vanilla beans…is it bad that I might want to add a touch of vodka to this though? I think it would make a fabulous party beverage.

  13. 13

    Kristen on August 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm Reply

    I am desperately grasping onto the last few threads of summer.
    This looks like such a refreshing beverage!

  14. 14

    Eliana on August 3, 2010 at 8:48 am Reply

    This sounds delicious and so refreshing.

  15. 15

    KPackard on August 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Sounds delicious! And where do you get those adorable bottles?

  16. 16

    Katie T. on August 4, 2010 at 12:30 am Reply

    I just made this and it's SO GOOD!!! Thank you for the delicious recipe. I had no idea it was that easy!

  17. 17

    Andrea on August 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm Reply

    If I want to make the cherry soda – am I adding the almod extract and the kool-aid in addition to everything in the vanilla soda recipe?

    Or am I supposed to be omitting the vanilla bean???

  18. 18

    Cheeky Kitchen on August 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm Reply

    Andrea-
    Yep…ad it all in there together, vanilla bean included! You probably won't need the whole packat of Kool-aid. My kids like just a little more than half of it! Enjoy!

  19. 19

    harcout on August 5, 2010 at 12:44 am Reply

    I could imagine how the vanilla beans scent would make an incredible aroma.

  20. 20

    The Urban Baker on August 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm Reply

    my kids love vanilla cream soda. i can not wait to make this. beautific photos!!!

  21. 21

    Anonymous on August 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm Reply

    If I may ask, where did you procure the beautiful bottles for this?

  22. 22

    Cheeky Kitchen on August 7, 2010 at 9:37 am Reply

    Anonymous-
    You are, of course, allow to ask! Thanks for the question!

    The glass bottles you see in this picture were purchased where most of my props are purchased…a Thrift shop. The little once was 39 cents, the large 79 cents.

    You may have luck finding similar bottles at World Market and/or Hobby Lobby. Both stores often carry a wide variety of glass containers, some of which may work as a great Creme Soda bottle!

    Good Luck!

  23. 23

    Angel on August 15, 2010 at 11:25 am Reply

    You could always homeschool ;)

  24. Pingback: Vanilla Cream Soda | Feed Me, Seymour

  25. 24

    Wasatchwoman on October 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I really don’t understand what the narration has to do with Cream Soda, but okay.

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