Note to self: When the kids ask to tag along when you’re going grocery shopping, say NO! A few weeks ago, I gave in to their “Please-can-we-come-with-you?” pleas and here’s what happened.
We were strolling through the aisles of Woolies when, of course, C1 and C2 spotted the jelly (jello for any Americans reading this).
“Can we buy some Aeroplane jelly, mum? Plllllease?”
Before I knew it, we had four packets of jelly in the trolley – one of each member of our family. And I don’t even eat jelly.
We got back home and unpacked the groceries – only to find three more packets of jelly already in the pantry. I could imagine the unused jelly packets pulling long faces, peeved that we hadn’t used them yet.
Luckily, they were all different flavours/colours. And luckily, we had friends coming over for lunch that weekend. A perfect excuse to try out the Jelly Cubes I’d see at a few kiddie parties.
I’m going to be pushy and urge you to try this recipe. It’s easy-peasy. And a big hit with the littlies. These Jelly Cubes are perfect to take to a picnic or a party as they won’t melt.
Going off on a tangent here, but the Aeroplane jelly made me think of this anecdote from my childhood. Until I was nine, we lived in my Nana Evelyn’s house. She was pedantic about pronunciation. (And even more particular about our Ps and Qs.)
My mum, on the other hand, loved it when my brother and I mispronounced words. She knew we would soon outgrow these childhood peculiarities and wanted us to be her babies just a little bit longer. One word I always got wrong was helicopter.
Try as I might, it always came out as “helidaughter”.
So whenever my kids ask for Aeroplane jelly, I can’t help think of a “helidaughter”.
Aeroplanes, helicopters and helidaughters – told you I was going off on a tangent…
The recipe makes one batch of Jelly Cubes. But where’s the fun in that?!? Repeat the same steps for as many jelly flavours as you wish. The more, the merrier!
1 packet (85g) jelly crystals
1 tsp gelatin
1 cup (250mL) boiling water
3 tbsp (40mL) single/pouring/whipping cream (optional)
Square or rectangle containers
Empty the jelly crystals and gelatin directly into your container (so no extra dishes to wash up later. Yay!). I use the kids’ square lunch boxes. Make sure they are clean and free of any food smells.
The extra gelatin helps the jelly cubes hold their shape instead of melting into jelly puddles when out of the fridge.
Add the boiling water and stir until all the crystals have dissolved.
If you’d like the separate lighter coloured layer on the top, add the cream and stir. The jelly will now look creamy. On cooling, the fat content from the cream will rise to the top and, once the jelly sets, you will have a pretty layer above the translucent jelly.
However, if you have guests who are lactose intolerant, skip this step. Or try it out with coconut milk (I haven’t tried this yet).
Cool. Cover with lids. Leave to set in the fridge, around 2-4 hours or overnight.
To cube, run a small knife around the periphery of the container and then cut the jelly into equal squares. Starting with one corner, lift out one cube at a time – you have to use your fingers, so make sure your hands are washed.
And wait for the “Oohs” and “Ahhs” as the kids go crazy with these colourful cubes of jelly in their belly. Wibble wobble, wibble wobble.
So tell me, what words do you remember mispronouncing as a child? How do you like to eat your jelly – with fruit salad, ice-cream or custard? Is there any dessert you will not eat?