Celebrate with Champagne

Sometimes the world gives you reason to celebrate and sometimes you have to celebrate in order to be given a reason. I think a little bit of both has been happening in my life.

It was while watching series 1 of “The House of Eliott” that I first decided to make this — that was several months ago. For those unfamiliar this is an early 90’s British TV Series of two trapped sisters from the 1920’s who are freed by their father’s death but left financially insecure. Now, having been sheltered their whole lives they have no employment history. Instead they turn to sewing and fashion and set up their House of Eliott. Surviving all the ups and downs of life the Eliott’s always end up the toast of the town — literally. Ahh, so this is the roaring 20’s without prohibition. I have never cared for gin, but champagne all the time I can get behind.

In one episode the younger sister, Evangeline, is taken out to a posh restaurant by her godfather, Sir Desmond Gillespie. Set in front of them is a gelled and molded substance I suspect is more along the lines of aspic, but my head was swimming from all the champagne they’d drunk and I knew that’s what it should be.

So, that was the start.

But what happened next?

Well, life wasn’t giving much reason to celebrate (though I was asking) and I decided that champagne was needed to give the world a little kick start. I can avow that this works. Right now I am high on accolades, my birthday and the alcohol that is not cooked out of this dish.

Where this is from is kind of hard to say. Of all the recipes they were all kind of similar. They varied by suspending different fruits or pureeing them into a sauce. I’ve included the recipe that came from epicurious.com. It is the amounts I used, but not their exact instructions.

Champagne Gelée

3 cups champagne
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

Put sugar and 1 ½ cups champagne into a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over and let sit 1 minute to soften. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, just until sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Pour into a chilled metal bowl or bowl set in a bath of ice water. Cool a couple minutes. Slowly pour in lemon juice and 1 ½ cups champagne. Stirring until just combined. Place bowl in fridge or pour into a mold. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight. If made in a mold you will have to place the dish in bath of warm water in order to loosen the jelly.

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