Pour the sugar into an airtight container. If the vanilla bean is whole, slice it halfway through the long way, open up the bean, and use a spoon or kitchen knife to scrape out the black gooey specks. Stir the specks into the sugar, and bury the bean pod in the sugar.
Cover the jar and let stand for at least 1 week.
This will keep indefinitely on a pantry shelf
! cup sugar
1 vanilla bean done the same and 1 week processing
4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean and split the been into several slices and bury in sugar.