Cheers to life….

I think far too many people don’t celebrate life.
I used to be like that. I used to be the person who never used their good dishes unless it was some super duper special occasion. Never broke open the good bottle of wine I bought. Never wanted my picture taken because I’m too fat. Always thought I would be happier if I had more money, was skinner, had a home, better car, etc….
And then I switched. I still don’t use my good dishes every day but far more than the average person. I mean they are just too pretty to not!
If I buy wine, I drink that wine. I don’t let it sit around for forever….because I might not be around for forever.
I stand and smile in whatever picture I am in. For that is me, and where I am at this point in life. Sure I may be a chunkster but my body is healthy enough for me to play hockey, go to the gym a few times a week and can do what I like to make it do.
More money is always good, though I tend to find the more you make the more you spend, so really it is all relative.
I don’t think any person is truly happy at whatever size you are. You always seem to be in quest for those last 10 pounds. Well, no one is perfect, not even you. And perfection is never going to happen.
I got a home, and on this one I must say that I am happier not to have to listen to my upstairs neighbors and what have you. But saying that there comes much more responsibility and worries.
Gone are my days of drooling over BMW’s and Mercedes. I drive a Ford Focus…that is paid for. It gets me to and from where I need to go. It gets great gas mileage. If something breaks on it(which so far never has…knock on wood) it is fairly inexpensive compared to when I owned a “nice” car. Sure no one is starring at me and saying, gee I wish I had that car. But then again I don’t have a $500 a month car payment and have to give my right arm up if something breaks down on it.
I’m always fascinated by interviews of a lot famous people who are older. Many of them grew up in poverty. In their interviews I find it interesting that they all say how happy their childhood was because they didn’t know they were poor. They didn’t know any different. I often wonder how much happier the world would be today if there was no media to be pushing to see all the “things” they are missing out on.
Now before you think I am some non-materialistic hippie(not that there is anything wrong with that), I am not. I am pretty darn materialistic, I own Louis Vuitton purses for goodness sake! But I strive each day to truly appreciate all that I have and try not to worry about all that I don’t have.
So here is a recipe to help you celebrate all the little things in life. If you are thinking that is a drink, you would be wrong. That is a dessert…a Prosecco Gelatina to be exact. Yep Jello. Nicest looking Jello I have ever had….and the most expensive.
Cheers to all of you!

Blackberry and Prosecco Gelatina

1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups water
1 750ml bottle prosecco
2(1/4 ounce packages) powder gelatin
1 pint blackberries

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Add the prosecco. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes to boil off the alcohol. Remove the pan from the heat and add powder gelatin. Whisk to incorporate. Allow to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Refrigerate gelatina until it is cold and beginning to thicken 1 ½ to 2 hours; it should be wobbly when shaken, not fully set, but strong enough to suspend the fruit.
As soon as gelatina has begun to thicken, add the blackberries(or fruit of your choice) and divide the mixture evenly among 6 dessert or juice glasses(I used champagne flutes). Refrigerate until fully set, 2 hours.

Adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina De Palma

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  1. I wondered if it was jello and am thrilled to see I was right!
    Your outlook on life is a great one, an example for everyone.

  2. What a beautiful and optimistic post! A good reminder to not overlook the little things — and to have dessert!!

  3. Amen sister…amen.

  4. Karen Lauterbach says:

    I may have to make an exception to my never eat jell-o. I also want to thank you for the warm ginger pear upside-down cake. I made it today and had to give the rest of it away after dinner so I wouldn’t make myself sick. It’s sinfully delicious. Karen

  5. 1) This is such a beautiful new year’s post – its a great time to celebrate what we have, not what we don’t have.

    2) I was so surprised this was jello, I honestly thought it was a drink!

  6. Happy New Year!
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  7. Very well said! What a great time of year for all of us to change our attitudes for the better!

    Great looking jello!

  8. Love your attitude Peabody! The fruit suspended in a truly elegant jello is so pretty in the champagne flutes…looks like a party. Happy New Year!

  9. Once again, what a lovely post, thank you, it was some much needed perspective.

    And the jello looks great too.

  10. OK, add another recipe of yours to the “must try” list. Actually this would look really pretty in my new crystal (thank you wedding guests)! I use my good china all the time. We don’t have a dishwasher so there’s really no excuse not too!

    I think your outlook is fantastic. I own a paid off Ford Focus too. It’s a good sturdy little cheap car. :)

  11. ooooh a gelatina! a must try- sounds so very elegant…and Peabody- Cheers to you!

  12. Life is truly meant to be lived and I agree with you. It’s time to use the good dishes as often as you can and to smile in picutures and just be who you are. Life’s far too damn short! Let’s just get as much joy out of it as we can while we are here, well as long as we don’t hurt anyone in the process that is. Now where is that damn chocolate cake, I think I’ll have me some for breakfast.

  13. I totally agree and admire your outlook on life. :)

  14. Prosecco is just a touch dry for my tastes, but I’ve got an Asti that I love that might suit this quite well!

  15. Good for you! I’m with you. Life is too short. I remember my ex-model friends saying they wouldn’t get into a hot tub at our old ski house after a long day on the slopes becuase they were “too fat”. So I put on my size 16 swim suit and had a blast while they whined inside. Life is tooooooooooooo short.

    I love Prosecco – thanks for sharing!

  16. Hah! Upscale Jell-o shooters? ;)

  17. You’re so right – cheers to good life! :)

    That’s a very elegant dessert! I make a similar one with raspberries and champagne that is always sure to impress and dead simple to make.

  18. What a great post Peabody! I totally agree with you! I really enjoyed reading it and I wish more people thought like this :) I drive I small red Honda and I love her too! :)

    That dessert looks and sounds divine!

  19. “Happiness is in the journey and not at the end of the road”. I try to keep that in mind as I head off to work in my Cavalier.

  20. Amen! Like you, I spent so many years chasing the big beautiful things, and never being happy. Now I’m a stay-at-home mom, with precisely three pairs of pants that fit, one car that I have to share with my husband, and living in a 750 square foot house….and have NEVER been happier!!! Here’s to getting priorities in line!!

  21. i really enjoyed reading this post. i have the same outlook about life for the most part… i can’t get over the, i don’t want to be in photos cause i’m too far ;-) great post!

  22. Elegant and gorgeous dessert. I too love and thrive to live the simple life, just a little difficult with my husband, who has the champagne taste and the beer money.

  23. Sounds decidedly yummy. (And I know it’s not in the spirit of your post, but I bet I could make this with Splenda.)

  24. Hear, hear! Great post and that dessert looks spectacular :-)

  25. A very happy new year to you, and yes, a toast to life!

  26. This a nice post … I totally agree about celebrating every day of life … I am aiming to do more of that as well :) Not a fan of gelatin, but this looks great esp. with one of my favorite proseccos :) Happy New Year to you!

  27. For years my mother said she kept her “good” things for special occasion only and it had to be really special. Then one day she woke up and said “No more. I’m not saving my nice things for the 2nd wife!” Everything got enjoyed! It’s good to plan tomorrow but we really need to live today.
    Wonderful post Pea.

  28. I’m with you. The only thing that keeps me from having some kind of celebratory occasion every other day is that it wouldn’t be special if we partied full-throttle ALL the time. So we celebrate daily in smaller ways and never hold onto the good wine too long waiting for a more important moment. Very cool jello!

  29. Cheers to Life indeed. I know what you mean about the everything being relative – you make more money you tend to spend more anyway. My hubby and I splurged on one expensive car but never again! I also hung on to my Nissan Sentra for almost 10 years because I enjoyed having no car payment. Thanks for this post…it reminds us about what matters.

  30. Beautiful “jello” and beautiful post. It’s so true, but I always need to be reminded to be content with what I have because what I have is pretty amazing!

  31. I was just sitting at a table I have in the formal livingroom where no one ever goes. On that table is my late mothers lacy rose tablecloth. I notice a rip in it and thought, “that will teach you to use prize heirlooms.” Then I started thinking about where my memories really were. They are not in that table cloth. They are in my heart where they will always stay. I’m glad I used that tablecloth till it was tattered. My mom would be happy too. At least I know my daughter wont sell it at a yard sale, when I’m dead and gone.
    On new years eve, I wanted to buy and try a bottle of Prosecco but I was sick. I would try your recipe but I want to drink the bottle. So, I’m going for that bottle and I’m putting moms dishes out for dinner on that tattered tablecloth and I’m going to celebrate life.
    Thanks for the inspirational post.

  32. How cute! I love classy boozy Jell-O desserts.

  33. So very true. Now if only I had good dishes…

  34. Looking the glass half full. Cheers!

  35. Congratulations ! Tanna was the one who sent me the link to this post (not that it is the first time I have heard about you, though) and I want to state that I am perfectly with you. The “catching phrase” of my little restaurant (just 4 tables or up to 12 guests – but my life dream that has come true) is “FOR THE LOVE OF CELEBRATING LIFE”. Right now I am drinking my favorite prosecco and sending CHEEEERS to YOU ! angelika

  36. Very nice! Beautiful pics!

  37. Now that is a sentiment I can drink to. Cheers to you, Peabody!

  38. Well said, Peabody.

  39. Cheers to you, Peabody! Cheers to you!

  40. Very appropriate food for thought—thanks!

  41. I love this post, Peabody. Cheers! And of course the gelatina is lovely. I

  42. Peabody, I absolutely love this post! So much so, I am printing it out and putting it on my fridge and I just popped open this bottle of French wine I had been saving for a special occasion. So, here’s to you my friend!!

  43. Cheers to you, Peabody! You are so right. It wasn’t until after my father died last year that I began to realize these things too. Now, I break out the Waterford for orange juice, light the good candles and sing Mozart at the top of my lungs while I’m driving in my car (a 10 year old Mercedes)!

  44. Yep…agreed! I make my mother in law cringe by takig the fine china out just when they come to dinner: what am I going to do…just look at it?! Heck no!!
    My finer purses and bags are purchased by mom but what would I do with them going from the kitchen to the gym? Same for the jewelry!! We just drank the nice Bordeaux my dad brought last time they came…just because…You never know what tomorrow brings!
    Cheers to you and this gorgeous gelatina!

  45. Nice, Peabody. Life is just too short to not treat thyself. It certainly is my motto. I love lovely things. And I’ve learned that when I share them with others, it takes my admiration to a whole new level. Great post, great photos, of course, and the gelatina sounds delicious.

  46. My motto: Always aim for the moon – if you don’t get it you’ll get the stars.

    And the stars are the brightest with such an optimistic point of view. Huge hug for this one Pea!

  47. Perfect… both the sentiment and the gelatina, Peabody!

  48. Great post; lovely gelatina! Happy New Year, Peabody!

  49. Good words, Peabody! Very good words.

  50. You’re so right! Life is too short for living it sadly… and for not making nice dishes whenever you want! Thanks for the post. Cheers!


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