I'm sitting at home along writing this post on a Monday evening, eating Cookie Butter out of a jar, reminiscing about the days when I was single, living alone, and eating various combinations of bad-for-me-and-definitely-not-meal-worthy "snacks" for dinner. As soon as I walked into my apartment from work, I'd wash my hands furiously (this is the one part of my night that has not changed and will not change as long as New York City remains the glorious petri dish of filth that it is), turn on the television, and start dinner-- usually a bowl of cereal or something else equally pitiful. I'd zone out in front of a cooking show or a crappy procedural drama, barely paying attention, and then I'd go to sleep at a pathetically decent hour. My life was not that bad, but it was also not that great. Those are the lame ol' days that I try to remember when I go through rough periods now. As much as I sometimes miss living alone, I would never trade that for the guy and the life that I very fortunately have now. I've got a best buddy who has turned so many of my horrible days around with tiny surprises and giant hugs. I know how sappy I sound, believe me, and I hate me too for it, and believe me when I say that I do realize it could all go away tomorrow. But since my last post, I have had the blues in the absolute worst way for more reasons than I can count-- I've had a nasty cough for what has felt like forever, I've had a million mini-crises related to my professional life, I've seen people I love get very hurt, and I've had people I love suddenly just sort of disappear from my life without explanation. Writing out what the past was like compared to the present helps sort it all out in my mind. A lot has changed, but things aren't worse, they're just different. In some ways (Hi Jimmy!), they're better.
So, with that in mind, I'm going to hearken back to an earlier post and once again talk about celebration. As rough as life's been, I've been fortunate to still have some things to celebrate, be grateful for, be happy about as of late (see: above Troll, which I will treasure forever, and no, you may not make fun of me for being so dorky about this. Ok, yes, yes you can). For this reason, I believe it is time to pop the bubbly.
Around Christmas, my parents came over to our apartment and very kindly gave my boyfriend and me a bottle of champagne (I guess the correct term would be "sparkling wine" because geography and whatnot, but I'm just going to be comfortable being wrong for the rest of this post, so purists, deal, please). My mom emphasized that we should always remember to celebrate, which was really touching, given that my parents have come to support and champion us even when we haven't felt the same love elsewhere. I always kept those words in the back of my mind, and we mutually decided to save the bottle for a special occasion.
Then, after realizing that there was no way we'd be able to kill a bottle of Brut in a night, and that neither of us really drinks champagne all that much, and that there are only so many sort-of-mimosas one could make and imbibe, I decided to get creative. CHAMPAGNE. JELLIES.
Champagne Jelly Shots (makes about 18 1-ounce shots)
2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1 cup of boiling water + 2 tablespoons of sugar, more if you'd like this sweeter
1 1/2 cups of champagne/sparkling wine/you know what I mean (Note: if you'd like to keep this booze-free, substitute some sparkling cider)
Raspberries or berries of your choice, if you please
Pour boiling water into a large, heatproof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water, and let cool slightly. Pour champagne or whatever bubbly drink you choose over the mixture, then stir gently to incorporate any clumps of gelatin that may have formed. Pour into mold of choice (I used a mini-muffin pan), and place a raspberry or berry of your choosing in the middle of each mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour, until the jellies have set.
The following is a series of "artistic" photos that we took of these shots, because they're friggin' gorgeous looking.
I feel like the photos don't even do these justice, but let me tell you, these came out looking magical. The bubbles stayed put, giving these shots a sparkly, glowing look. Oh, so how'd they taste?
Um, AMAZING. The shots were bubbly, only very slightly sweet, and way more fun than just a regular ol' glass of bubbly. But, uh, just slow your roll a bit with these, or you'll end up downing five in the span of a minute and then waking up in the middle of the night with a faint recollection of drunk-dialing your parents. Not that that happened. Just saying it could.