What to do with vanilla pods?

My parents recently went on holiday to Madagascar, and brought me back a bunch of vanilla pods. Maybe 20 of them (they’re kind of wedged in a bamboo container, and I’ve not pulled 'em all out to count).

I’m not a great cook, and I’ve never used them before, so what should I do with them? Any (vegetarian) recipe ideas?

I’d especially like easy cake recipes, as I’m going to be spending half of tomorrow attempting to bake cakes. Thanks in advance!

Easiest thing to do it stick them in a container of sugar and leave them there. They’ll give the sugar a nice vanilla flavoring.

“Lieutenant Dan, Ice Cream!”

You could make your own vanilla flavored vodka. I just did a google search for make your own vanilla vodka and a ton of recipes showed up.

Or make your own extract. With vodka. Put cracked open pod in a cup or two of milk. Let it seep for a little bit and make pancakes with the milk. Heat the milk and make pudding (strain the pod pieces when cooking, of course.) Make a simple syrup and add a pod to it. Put it in seltzer or make cocktails.

Mail them to me. PM for address.

Good ideas so far, thanks! I just counted them out, and there’s 24 pods, so I could try all the above and more!

Sadly though, I haven’t been able to drink vodka since I was… uhh… 17 (only one year underage here at least). I did try someone’s home made vanilla stuff last year, and couldn’t stomach it. I reckon I’d be fine with essence.

To use them in cooking, slit the pods open lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds out of the inside with its tip. Transfer them to whatever it is you’re cooking.

To make vanilla extract, seal several in a Mason jar with neutral spirits. The extract is ready to use when it’s dark brown.

I put 9 in 10 ounces of vodka and swirl for a few months. Home-made vanilla at a fraction of the cost. You can also use rum or another liquor for a different flavor, but I like to use vodka because I think the vanilla flavor really shines through. I just finished a batch last week and have a new one steeping.