The Anne of Green Gables Experiment

My sister and I had so much fun with our Little House in the Big Woods inspired Baked Potato Experiment that we decided to try a new experiment inspired by another favorite book:


I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time when I was about ten-years-old, and I've loved the book ever since. I've lost track of the number of times I've read it and every time I am always left wondering about this passage:

"Anne looked on the second shelf of the sitting room pantry but there was no bottle of raspberry cordial there. Search revealed it away back on the top shelf. Anne put it on a tray and set it on the table with a tumbler." 

For those of you who have never read the book, Anne accidentally serves Diana homemade currant wine and thirteen-year-old Diana gets a little tipsy. Oh who are we kidding, she doesn't just get a little tipsy. She gets totally hammered.

This chapter brings up so many questions; What does raspberry cordial taste like? Does currant wine really look so much like raspberry cordial that it's impossible to tell the difference? Is currant wine something that I would like to serve at my next dinner party? If Anne's mistake had accidentally turned Diana into an alcoholic which character in the book would have been the best choice to stage an intervention? (I'm going to guess Marilla on that last one because she's all about administering tough love.) So many questions. So few answers. So a few weeks ago, my sister and I set out to answer the burning questions that all of America and Canada are wondering about (or maybe we're the only ones who care. That's entirely possible too.)

I consulted the Internet and found about 400 recipes for Raspberry Cordial. Then I did a little research to find out if it's possible to buy currant wine. I know that Marilla made her own Currant wine but making wine seemed a little out of my skill set so I decided to just buy some and I could use the time I saved for really important things like looking up people I went to high school with to see if I'm aging better than them or watching youtube videos of people placing every item they bought at the grocery store on their dinning room tables so we can all look at it (someone please explain to me why this is a thing we as a society are doing and then when you're done, help me to figure out why I can't stop watching these videos.)

So we went to the grocery store to buy raspberries and currant wine. I was convinced that currant wine would be such an easy item to find that I would easily find it at my local neighborhood grocery store. My optimism was so adorable. They appeared to have every flavor of wine but currant wine. So we went to the liquor store:



And we came up empty there too. It's as if no one in this town spends their weekends making raspberry cordial and comparing it to currant wine so they can find out if it's believable that a fictional character would have really gotten plastered from mistaking the two. Weird. So I had to settle for raspberry wine.

I couldn't decide which recipe to use to make the Raspberry Cordial, so I just sort of combined them all into one recipe. For those of you who want to try it at home: Put a bag of frozen raspberries, a cup of sugar and the zest of an orange or a lemon in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it looks like this:


Then strain the mixture and allow it to cool (I stuck it in the fridge so it would cool faster) and add 3 cups of water. The end result will look like this:


I made a double batch because my parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew were all going to be there during the cooking phase of the experiment and I imagined us all drinking large glasses of it.

My sister-in-law even humored me by wearing a shirt that had puffed sleeves:


(I know this is not what the puffed sleeves of Anne's dreams actually looked like. But when I first read the book, this is exactly how I pictured them looking.)

First we tried the raspberry cordial. It wasn't awful, but I didn't love it either. I had spent the week leading up to the experiment telling people about it and describing raspberry cordial as a pioneer version of a slushy and I think my brain was expected it to taste like one. It ended up tasting like raspberry lemonade, minus the lemonade. It was kind of lacking something.

Then we tried the raspberry wine and my sister and I thought it was disgusting. My sister-in-law loved it. At one point I suggested that someone should drink three glasses of the wine so we could recreate the effect of just how drunk Diana was, but no one cared for my idea. The closest anyone was willing to get was to pose for this pretending-to-chug-straight-from-the-bottle picture.


Even though neither drink tasted that great, and we didn't really get any of our questions answered in the end, my sister and I still had a lot of fun doing this experiment, so I'm going to count that as a success!

Have you ever tried an literary-inspired experiment. If you have, or you have a suggestion for one you'd like me to try, let me know in the comments section.

Comments

  1. I love it! I’ve never tried a literary experiment before. Very fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

      Delete
  2. I love this post more than I can say! Partly because of the Anne connection -- loved the book/series all of it. But also I will try to do things like that too. It's been a long, long time since I have though, and you are inspiring me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, that's such a nice thing to say!

      Delete
  3. Fabulous! I have not tried a literary experiment before (involving food or drink that is, let's not mention romance or the S word), but it sounds like something I would do. I am with you on Anne of Green Gables, though I only read one or two more of the series and then lost interest, both as a kid and a grownup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The end of the series is very different from the beginning. I think Anne is a very different character at the end, so I understand why some people lost interest. But I love L.M. Montgomery's writing style so much that I've enjoyed everything she wrote.

      Delete
  4. I just imagine anyone drinking a whole bottle of wine/alcohol would get drunk. this is a good experience but it appears even I would not like the cordial or the currant wine. isn't currant means grapes?

    I haven't tried any literary experience but I have read about them which I think it's so much more fun & easier.

    thanks for your visit to my blog, have a lovely day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, currants are grapes, but they're a specific kind of grape that are only grown in certain regions.

      Delete
    2. But, if I'm not mistaken, Marilla used red currants for her wine. Red currants are a member of the gooseberry family and are a little bit different from grapes.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. It looks better than it tastes. I would recommend Strawberry Lemonade over this!

      Delete
  6. I have never tried a literary experiment. I have as a teacher taken parts of a story and tried to recreate it if that counts. I totally love what you did. How fun1

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ha! No literary experiments here - unless you count begging my 12 year old to read something besides Rick Riordan books. The raspberry slushy looks delicious. I prefer sweet anything/wine to non-sweet so maybe I would have enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great idea! I have a friend who teaches high school who tries to do this with the books she teaches (of course, giving kids alcohol won't work) but she has made something from To Kill A Mocking Bird for her classs...was it corn pone or crackling bread? Something like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your friend sounds like a fun teacher!

      Delete
  9. You could try making a fashionable dress from old curtains, like Scarlet in Gone With The Wind , or if you're looking for a tasty treat fry up some green tomatoes :) It's a excellent time of the year for that. I think it is sweet how your family join in on your fun and make a party out of it.
    Happy Summer!
    Connie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the great suggestions!

      Delete
  10. This is awesome!!! What a great idea. I need to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful post, dear! I like your blog.
    Following you! Follow back?
    www.minnieart.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my goodness, your post had me laughing so hard! You sure do have a way with words and the imagery it brings to mind. ;) I love the whole Anne of Green Gables series. I think she is one of my favorite literary figures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Debbie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

      Delete
  13. I enjoyed reading your story, Angela, and thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog. Hugs, Val

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such a great post and I love the way you write! I really enjoyed reading this post :)

    I'm following you on GFC in hope to read more of your posts!

    mystylishcorner.blogspot.ba

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for following!

      Delete
  15. I will echo Connie's fried green tomatoes. I actually wrote a post a few years ago about them and how much I liked them. They actually inspired me to watch the movie of the same name!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried Fried Green Tomatoes once while I was on vacation and I liked them. Unfortunately, I'm now allergic to them.

      Delete
  16. What a fun experiment! I'm sorry that it didn't taste great in the end, but as long as you had fun, that's what counts!

    Kim | www.simplylovebirds.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Okay, this was seriously great! I'm not sure I'd try either one because I'm not a huge fan of raspberry, but at the same time, I'd probably be right there with you trying away... sad but true :).

    There are quite a few cookbooks out there based off of different tv shows. One is for Gilmore Girls, one is for Friends, I believe if not a cookbook, there is a website for Downton Abbey or something like that. You should just do that and become rich and famous and then remember us little folk who gave you the idea :). haha.

    I've also never read the book, but.... did you know there is a show on Netflix called Anne with an E that is supposedly about this book... I've only just started watching it, but didn't get through the first episode that day. Might be something to look into if you like the book. Maybe not...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha.
      I watched one episode of the Anne show on Netflix. It deviated pretty far from the books, which isn't always a bad thing. That can be interesting sometimes too. There are a lot of different versions and I've recently been exploring them.

      Delete
  18. Okay I do not wish to make this but just drink this. As one great man said, "Won't you be my neighbor?" :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. My neighbors have been burning something for the last three days, so I could use some new neighbors!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts