So, in the hours between 6 and 8 PM, I made with the little tiny seeds scraped from the inside of the pod and added a bit more vanilla yumminess to it by steeping the empty pod in the oil while it was heating on the stove. You can't actually see the vanilla seeds unless you look really closely, but the bigger black flecks are poppyseeds. I didn't put enough to really make a big textural difference, but it was more to give it some visual appeal. As to the smell, well... it smells like Tahitian vanilla. ;) This may not make it to the show because it's fairly soft after the unexpected intervention by the kitchen faucet.
I had the lye solution outside (as usual) and put the the pot of oil into its water bath to cool to the right temperature. Turned my back for literally 30 seconds, came back and discovered that the pot was floating directly under the running faucet... and was fast approaching a volume of water that would make the oil overflow into the sink.
"Oh, no!" I moaned, then grabbed a ladel and the turkey baster to scoop the oil into another bowl. In theory, a gravy separator would have worked for this task, but I didn't have one. I thought about calling the neighbors and asking if they owned a gravy separator, but time was of the essence. After I finally got most of the oil scooped back out, I re-weighed things to see how close to the original 49 oz it was. It was close... sort of. I glurped some extra olive oil into the pot just to make sure the volume was right, and crossed my fingers.
Addendum: Went to the library to hunt for a copy of Tam Lin or something similar. While I was trotting across the street, I was whistled at by a pair of youths in a pickup truck, one of whom also chose to add something that sounded suspiciously like, "Hey, girl!". This, rather than having the desired effect (whatever that is...), always makes me laugh. Mmph.