There are several quotes related to the bubbly gold that is Champagne.
Dom Pérignon (1638–1715) was a monk and a pioneer winemaker. He was the first to blend grapes to enhance their qualities and improve the outcome of the finished wines. He also perfected the art of capturing the elusive bubble in the wine.
Having a taste of one of his successful experiments, he called out to his fellow winemakers: “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!”
Other quotes to remember are
“Remember gentleman, it is not just France we are fighting for, it is Champagne.”
“I only drink champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not.”
Here’s your beginner’s mind question: What do you think of, when you think of champagne?
In our pumpkin chapter of The Story of Autumn, we talked about how Native Americans used to plant pumpkins in a collaborative way, together with the “Three Sisters”: corn, beans and pumpkins. Each played a role in supporting the growth of the other and humans intervened to develop agricultural practices that fostered collaboration amongst the natural world. You can read all about it here. To reinforce my intention to build collaboration with the whole natural world, I like to take some time to pickle a bit of pumpkin each autumn. No need to go crazy. Just pickling one pumpkin (it can even be your Jack O´Lantern if you reserve the innards and rescue the rest before it gets smashed or goes mouldy) is enough to create three or four jars of pickled pumpkin. What do you use it for? I like to use it in salads throughout the winter (and you can toss in some roasted pumpkin seeds to boot) or simply add it to a festive autumn or winter meal as a starter with other pickles. The orange makes a colourful addition to a plate of gherkins. Here´s how to get pickling!
HOW TO MAKE PICKLED PUMPKIN
- 2 pounds of peeled and diced pumpkin
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of distilled white wine vinegar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 whole cloves
- 3 tbsps of mustard seeds
- Peel your pumpkin and dice it into cubes.
- In a large saucepan mix sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, cloves and mustard seeds.
- Bring to a boil, add the pumpkin and the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.
- Whilst your mixture is simmering, sterilise your jars and get them ready for processing. Bring a large pot of water to the boil on the stove. You need to make sure that the water is deep enough to completely submerge the jars you intend to use. Once the water has been brought to boil, use tongs to submerge your jars and lids in the water. Make sure that the lids are off of the jars and that the jars are filled with the boiling water. Make sure the jars have at least 10 minutes in the water. It is best to leave the jars in the boiling water until you are ready to fill them with your pickling mixture. When you are ready to fill the jars, carefully remove them from the water one jar at a time, turning them upside down to remove the water. You can put them on a clean dishtowel momentarily to make sure that all the water has been removed from the jar. I always wear oven gloves to make sure that I do not burn myself.
- Spoon the pumpkin into each jar and then pour some of the hot pickling liquid on top, making sure that you leave 1 centimetre/half inch of space at the top of the jar.
- Immediately place sterilised lids on each filled jar and seal.
- When all the jars have been sealed, put them back into boiling water for 10 minutes to process and make them air tight. This way, they should be shelf safe for several months.
- This year, I have planned on decorating my pickled pumpkin with a story about the Three Sisters and giving them to neighbours as holiday gifts. How will you share the love?