Disney Adventures: Fantasia

We're on to another week of Disney food adventures. For those just coming on to the idea: My husband and I watch a Disney animated film, then make all of the food in it. We do our research of story location, time period, and other factors to bring you the meal as it would have been prepared in the movie. Our blog with full updates and pictures is at disneymeals.wordpress.com. Please come visit! After a fun Snow White starter, we moved on to a massive Italian Pinocchio Feast. Now we've watched Fantasia. It's a movie of music. We didn't really know what to expect, but we found our food! Well…our drink. There was only one "food" item the whole movie, and that was during the song featuring the story of the centaurs, Zeus, and the God of wine. They even went as far as showing grapes being poured into a giant tub to be pressed.

What did we do then? We pressed our own grape juice! We didn't really give it the time to ferment into wine. We do have quite a few other movies to watch and prepare, after all. I was surprised at the simplicity, yet intensity of the process. Pressing your own grapes is no small task. The nice thing, however, is that there's only one ingredient: Grapes! We used about 4 pounds of them (give or take with a little snacking before we got the pressing), and we had a combination of black and red grapes. I think those are personal preference. The black grapes are more affordable at the moment, though the red grapes I believe are more common in wine-making. Also, the red grapes were featured in the movie.

The process: De-stem the grapes, and put them all into a large pot. Next step is to mush them. We don't have a potato masher, so we tried using the bottom of a bowl. It worked okay, but eventually we gave up and started in with our hands. It was a lot of fun! I love watching all the movies where the women help make the wine by stepping into the grape tubs with bare feet to press them out. Once we had them all smooshy and juicy, we set the pot on the stove to boil. You bring the pot to a boil then turn the heat down to a medium low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After this is done you place the grapes on a cheesecloth that has been stretched over a bowl. Secure the cloth with a rubber band or tape. The grapes then have to sit atop the cloth as the juice seeps into the bowl for a few hours. Then you can squeeze the excess juice out of the cloth before discarding it, transfer the juice in the bowl to a pitcher and chill before serving.

The grape juice was thick and sweet and tasty. We tried some while it was hot and I almost couldn't stop myself from drinking the rest! So sit back, enjoy an evening of classical music and fresh pressed grape juice. What are you waiting for?

Up next time: Dumbo! I hope you're enjoying this adventure as much as I am.

All pictures taken by author as we prepared the grape juice at home.

Recipe: 4 lbs red (or black) grapes.

Clean and de-stem grapes. Place in large pot, mash with potato masher until fully mashed. Put on stove over high heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place cheesecloth or fine mesh over bowl, tighten with rubber band so fabric is taut. Pour boiled grapes on top of fabric, let sit and seep for a few hours. Fold cloth around grapes, squeeze out any extra juice, and then discard cloth. Put juice in pitcher to chill before serving.

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    Mary Hildebrandt
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! maryh@dvo.com

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