JellyJolly jelly everywhere. Jelly with fruit, fruit in jelly, jelly and trifle, jelly in trifle, jelly and cream.
These were some of our regular desserts served after the main meal. Jelly was quick and easy to make and came in a wide variety of colours and flavours. I guess it was also a way of stretching the meal as cooking for seven hungry children can not have been simple. Jelly cakes – now these were delicious and made for special occasions. A current recipe reveals they are still popular.
Port wine jelly was a reddish colour so plums, nectarines and occasionally cherries found their way here. Orange jelly went well with apricots. Green lime coola, well I guess it was just another colour for variety. Other varieties were raspberry and strawberry.
Lemon jelly was my favourite. We often needed two packets of crystals to make enough jelly to feed the family. First, the kettle was boiled and the jelly crystals emptied into a heatproof bowl. The boiling water was carefully measured before being stirred into the crystals. Too much water resulted in wobbly soft jelly, too little water, hard rubbery jelly. The cooled bowl of jelly was placed in the fridge. There were no leftovers after the meal.
Who can forget beetroot in jelly and peas in green gelatine? These were cut into cubes and made an exotic addition to a plate of salad!
The rubbery jelly served at boarding school had little flavour but bounced well on refectory tables. Full page advertisements for jellies appeared in The Australian Women's Weekly of the time suggesting a variety of recipes using jelly. Visit All Down Under for the background story to the Aeroplane Jelly song and story. YouTube video of the original advertisement is here.
Junket was the healthier alternative to jelly. A junket tablet was dissolved in warmed milk with a small amount of sugar added. When it had cooled it was put aside to set in the fridge. A sprinkling of nutmeg on top was really the only thing that added any flavour.
Jokes and jests
There was always room for laughter in our lives and practical jokes were my brother's forte even from an early age. He even claims to have stirred up the bull in the paddock before we got near it as referred to in this previous post.
Then, of course, there was the inevitable retribution when we short-sheeted his bed, always a good prank. The top sheet on the bed was folded back on itself then the blankets placed on top as normal. All was folded and tucked in and when the victim got into the bed feet hit the sheet.
The bed had to be stripped of blankets and remade before retiring for the night.
What childhood pranks and jokes did you get up to?