Monday, January 26, 2009
I think a handful of you fellow science nerds will get the title pun, but agar is a gelatin made from seaweed. Anyhoooo....
OK. So I get a little crazy in the winter. Its one of the reasons I lived on the West Coast for so many years. We paid a price when my ancestors migrated from Africa to the cold of Northern Europe. And the price is mid-winter, vitamin D deficient craziness. Last year I chose to train for the Boston Marathon to stop the insanity (it's all depends on how you define insanity). This year I think it will be Gelology that gets me through.
For the past month, the hub bub over President-elect Obama has been overwhelming. He burps, we all look to the Middle East conflict and Dow to see if it's had an effect. And it does. So I wanted to make a gelatin shot that was as equally big and inspired by hope and change. With the help of Tovah, I came up with the idea to make a mold in the shape of the White House.
It has been on my mind to up the anty, and try to make my own decorative gelatin molds. Ever since I saw the work of jello artist Liz Hickok, I was intrigued to make a mold. I emailed her about her Jello version of the city of San Francisco. Unbelievable! So pretty and indicative of the creativity of San Francisco. She told me about Smoot-on, a company that makes silicone mold making material.
From there I googled them and called the company. A woman gave me the information for distributors and of all my luck, one of the four in the country is here in Boston. I went to Reynolds Advanced Materials, and had a nice chat with the two owners, Scott and Ian about what kind of silicone material would be food safe, how to prep the original and a lot of other helpful information. I purchased my eleven pounds of Smooth-on and away I went.
My friend Matt down in DC, procured a miniature model of the White House and overnighted it to me.
From there I coated it in soap and removed the peripheral trees and shrubs from the plaster model. I mixed the components to activate the silicone material, poured it over the model and let it sit over night. To get a better understanding of how to make a model I turned to the Queen of everything- Martha Stewart. There were a couple videos with her showing how to make candles with another product by Smooth-on. And if you haven't watched Amy Sedaris make a cake with Martha- ya just gotta.
After the silicone was hardened, I removed the model and heated treated it. Then I melted down candle wax and made six positives. They weren't pretty the first round, but I got better at making them. I took the best and made shot trays with three Whitehouse's each and 52 hours from the starting the project I had seven Whitehouse gelatin shot molds! I felt like a real artist.
Now that I had the molds, I was ready to get this Inauguration party started. I went with a red, white, and blue theme.
For the Red Whitehouses, I used watermelon gelatin, unflavored gelatin, watermelon pucker, and vodka,
The white Whitehouses were Pina colada mix, unflavored gelatin, and rum
The blue were simply Berry blue gelatin and blueberry vodka.
To honor the first African American to hold office, I made some Rootbeer float shots as well. To detail the progress, here are the pictures from starting mold to finished product.
So now that I've entered into the mold making, I keep looking around at what else could eventually be turned into tasty drinky jiggly treats. Move over tootsie rolls, cuz whatever it is I think I see, becomes a jello shot to me!
This concocction came about because I spied root beer schnapps at the liquor store. What would one make with that I wondered. Here was my reply... to myself. A root beer float jello shot.
I used knox gelatine, flattened root beer, vanila stoli, and root beer schnapps. The root beer schnapps can give it a medicinal taste so use about half schnapps and half vodka for the alcohol. I topped the shots off with whipped cream but some vanilla ice cream could also do the trick.