Category Archives: Jelly

Jelly Practice

A little jelly pick-me-up

A little jelly pick-me-up

I’ve been playing with jelly lately. I just unmolded this one today. It’s my ‘Rum and Coke, Cherry Float,’ a spin on the concept of the cherry cola float. That is, there’s a layer of rum and cola on the bottom, followed by a layer of vanilla spiked milk, topped up with sour cherries in their juice. It’s really rather delicious… and gives you a pleasant little buzz after a day battling red tape!

The Mysterious Cherry Squirrel

The Mysterious Cherry Squirrel

As an added bonus, I made the jelly in my copper squirrel mold. Although as I was demolding, you can see that the jelly began to slide off the plate!

Cherry layers

Cherry layers

It features a funky layering of cherries.

Speaking of cool layering effects, I’ve been working on the concept of a polka-dot jelly.

Nothing but polka-dots!

Nothing but polka-dots!

Those are cherry tomatoes from the garden suspended in a very simple jelly of lemon and apple cider vinegar, with a few basil leaves for good measure.

A little retro flair

A little retro flair

I love the retro look of it! It’s not perfect yet, but seriously… it’s lovely. I put a thin slice of the jelly on top of cottage cheese and ham as a salad. The jelly is  simply salad dressing, but it doesn’t make everything soggy. Win!

Socks and cookies and jelly, oh my!

Mod Poppy Socks (and Veronica side-eye)

Mod Poppy Socks (and Veronica side-eye)

I’ve been making things. Introducing the Mod Poppy Socks! I’m planning to write up the pattern when I get a minute, so this is sort of the sneak peak (I posted an Instagram picture to enter the Holland Road Yarn Company competition). They’re in Knitsch “Caboose,” which is a fiery orange-red and really suited the wrapped stitch, mod look of the socks.

I finished the second sock while watching the Veronica Mars movie. Seems like just yesterday we were all cheering on the Kickstarter! So worth it. Although, I think Dick Casablancas is now my favourite character. Should I be worried??

What's for supper? Cloned, peanut butter flavoured 10th Doctors.

What’s for supper? Cloned, peanut butter flavoured 10th Doctors.

The Scot wasn’t worried. He came padding through last night looking for supper. I’d baked him a fresh batch of cloned Doctor cookies! I may have too much fun baking dog biscuits.

Best of the British Empire jelly in cherry-coke flavour!

Best of the British Empire jelly in cherry-coke flavour!

I’m also finishing off the triumphant jelly I made. I found the retro-recipe here for a coca-cola salad jelly. Don’t panic – it’s fruit salad-y. You don’t really taste the cola. I used my amazing 19th century mould that features the best of the British Isles. There are Union Jacks, roses, crowns, thistles, four-leaf clover, pineapples, leeks… you name the British symbol, this mould has it! Tremendously difficult to get all the symbols to come out properly, though. I came much closer this time and it tastes amazing.

Retro inspired camera bag

Retro inspired camera bag

I also finished sewing up my new camera bag. I won’t tell you how many sewing machine needles were broken (4) or curse words uttered when turning this in the right way after sewing (still counting). It’s a basic box bag, but with four layers. The lining (retro scooter fabric) is quilted. The exterior fabric (a laminated print of retro cameras) has a very stiff interfacing. That’s a lot of layers to work with for a small bag! Still, all done. There’s a couple of loops to attach a strap for carrying.

And there’s another project almost finished, but I’ll save that for a later post!

Bye bye 2013

Bit of a scramble work-wise to meet the end of 2013, but here we are! And I can share another sock design! It came out recently as the last installment of Knitsch Yarns’ ‘Better than Toast’ yarn club. My first yarn club design!! I couldn’t believe Tash trusted me to design something wonderful for her. I did, however, already have an idea to play with, so off to work I went and managed to pretty much turn around the design in a month.

I’ve held off sharing the design – spoilers! But I’m pretty sure everyone has their pattern now and Tash gave the nod… and just yesterday, for the very first time, our pink lilies popped up, so that seemed serendipitous.

The pink lily

The pink lily

Caterpillars did eat the lilies… but here are the socks they inspired.

The Deco Lilies

The Deco Lilies

This is a quick shot of the socks – in bad lighting, oops – before they went to New Zealand for proper photography! The design is “Deco Lillies“. Tash dyed the prettiest pinky-yellow yarn especially for it. It is amazingly exciting to have someone dye yarn just for your design! Kind of thrilling, actually!

I did do a ‘prototype’ design in Knitsch Yarns and a dark jewel tone also works well, I think.

The dark side of the lilies

The dark side of the lilies

The prototype still had the messy middle row of purls  and unfinished leaves on the toe, but I love the way the leaf business there works!

Leafy toes!

Leafy toes!

I am working on my next design and it’s looking quite promising! But I did my wrist in the other day, so I’m off knitting today.

Christmas was a joy. The Scot received his presents – mostly balls…

It's a new ball!

It’s a new ball!

But he also got a new lead – isn’t it adorable?

The Scot: "I *know* these aren't real sausages, you know."

The Scot: “I *know* these aren’t real sausages, you know.”

We made an alternative to traditional Christmas pudding – a Nesselrode. The dried cherries all went to the bottom of the mould and then melted a bit… but it was so creamy and delicious and filled with chestnuts! (And not being able to have gluten, dairy or chocolate now, I’m a bit of a challenge when it comes to dessert!)

Victorian pudding/jelly

Victorian pudding/jelly

And I gave Mum and Papa their little quilt. I think they were pleased. The fabrics represent their interests and although it’s pretty simple in terms of patchwork, that does suit the fabric designs. The whole is quilted in musical notes (Papa is a musician).

Fashion and Music Quilt

Fashion and Music Quilt

Phew. I think I’m all tired out now and looking forward to 2014! (Especially Peter Capaldi’s Doctor! Oh August, why are you so far away?)

 

 

Little Things

It’s been a little quiet of late. There’s been a lot of work stuff going on, so I’ve only had time for a bit of sock doodling while juggling the books.

Corset-effect

Corset-effect

That’s doodling in Knitsch “Beatrice.” I just love the pop of pink in the yarn. And then, because I need something mindless to knit on trains and buses, I wound up some Yarn Love in “Orchid” that I had buried in my stash and came across a nice, simple stitch pattern that works with it.

"I totally paused" plaid

“I totally paused” plaid

I was also making jelly. This is my trial with a ‘new’ Victorian copper mould – blackberry on top, advocaat blancmange on the bottom.

Anyone for Victorian jelly?

Anyone for Victorian jelly?

Things have been coming in the mail too…

Things postmen bring

Things postmen bring

I have plans!

Speaking of which, I have wheels now! Two wheels!

Ball?

Ball?

Catch is, I never learned to ride a bicycle as a kid. Still, the saying is ‘it’s like riding a bike,’ so how hard can it be???

(We won’t mention how often I stumbled just wheeling ‘Leonie’ – yes, I named by bike after my favourite fictional character from These Old Shades – home.)

A Wibbley-Wobbley Intervention

I possibly do need an intervention, but I don’t care. I was horrifying a few people with images from my new and growing stack of vintage jelly booklets.

Menu sorted

Menu sorted

I’m still not quite sure why they were horrified. To my eyes, these are amazing.

Jelly to delight and horrify!

Jelly to delight and horrify!

Then, I do have a soft spot for kitsch! Rest assured, I wasn’t really intending to make these as directed. But Mum was telling me about some of my grandmother’s salads back from the 50s and 60s. She used aspic and would create wonderful layers of ham, tomato, beetroot and peas. Mum remembered them with great fondness… and the hours my grandmother took to make the jellies. At the end, she’d sigh: “all those hours, and you lot gobble them up in minutes.” Poor grandma.

My grandmother was a great cook. I did once wrinkle my nose at her baked bean pizza experiment, but as I grew up, I understood what she was about. She really was into kitchen experiments! Generally, they turned out amazing. I have so many happy memories of hanging out in her kitchen with my aunts running about carrying plates and bowls of food to the table. They’d try to run me out, too, but I remained staunch, holding onto my stool at the kitchen bench! Turns out, I was right to stay.

So, as everyone cried “No!!!!!!!!,” my gander rose. (Is that a real phrase?) I knew grandma wasn’t silly and if she was able to make this work, so could I. I did a little searching online and in my books and cobbled together a tomato jelly recipe. The key, I think, is not to let the jelly aspect overwhelm the ingredients. Balance, basically. And that’s at the heart of all good cooking.

My tomato jelly

My tomato jelly

I didn’t fill my mould, but I just wanted to get the top impression, which works for this little patê-esque concoction. Truly, it’s fantastic! Full, rich tomato flavour. I served it with beetroot crackers, which added a lovely, earthy flavour that complements it nicely. The little circles of cucumber roll out to surprise you, too! Basically, this works and tastes rather like a regular spread, only in an amazing jelly form. I just know it’d be fantastic with fresh ham, but I have to go to the store for that. Basically, it’s Sunday and I don’t want to venture out.

The lowdown is quite simple. Fill a smallish bowl with fresh tomatoes. Chop them up just a bit – quarter large tomatoes, half the small ones. Throw in a bunch of basil and a bunch of tarragon. Add some crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cover and marinate overnight.

In the morning, blend the mixture with about 1/4-1/2 cup of your chosen stock and add to a saucepan to gently heat (don’t boil). While you’re doing that, soften about three leaves of gelatin (this will vary depending on your mixture and the size of your mould – this is for about 2-3 cups of mixture) and add to the saucepan, stirring until dissolved.

Place in your mould (always good to lightly spray it with oil – I use coconut, which has been a dream), along with thin slices of mini-cucumbers (quarks) and refridgerate until set.

Enjoy! Just don’t tell people it’s jelly. For some reason, many can’t get around the idea of vegetables and jelly (although, tomato is a fruit… so, technically, this is still fruit jelly!).