Indeed, you may very well have seen such shenanigans as this:
… yes, featuring desserts, made entirely by me, and that, yes, include layered jelly. The next day, you could quite easily have been mistaken for thinking you were looking at the wrong person’s account, or that Instagram had made some considerable judgement in error, and placed my handle along with images such as this:
Never fear – t’was indeed stuff that occurred at my own hand, and that which I posted on my account personally. I was not hacked, nor was drunk, deprived of coffee or my medication, or forced to perform beyond my usual means.
Yes, I made a layered jelly / panna cotta mix things; one for kids and one for adults. In fact, my adult-version, which did not contain penises, looked at one point very much like a tequila sunrise. Had I my wits about me, I would have figured this sooner and actually added tequila to it. Sadly, I didn’t, and the only thing that made it “adult” was that I served them in martini glasses, and they looked slightly more fancy schmancy. Also, they were devoid of the horrible, green jelly layer that is rather revolting, and that I’m happy to feed to kids, and the kids of my guests, but not to myself nor my guests, themselves.
Kids dessert = added layer of green, adult dessert has no green layer.
Discussions early with my chef-husband indicated that I had done these terribly wrongly, in that my layers were uneven. Like I gave a fuck. He determined they were inedible, due to lack of even layers, yet happily devoured his dessert when the time came.
I did attempt to explain that this lack of asymmetry and evenness was just my “unique and creative flair”. He just laughed at me. Rightly so. He has been trying to educate me on things about food preparation and cooking for a while. I rarely take it on board.
What I don’t want you to get hung up on is the vision and perception you may have derived from this. Yes, I made layered jelly.
I made it because I am a stubborn arse with tenacity issues. I also suffer greatly from impatience, and delusions of grandeur, that started very much with the simple phrase “Pfft! How hard can a layered jelly dessert be?”
Let me tell you that after the first couple of goes, it was widely declared that I should never, ever, ever be allowed to attempt to make layered jelly. Although, have you any idea how many variations of “some sort of revolting brown colour, that isn’t really brown, and looks entirely inedible” I made.
Who knew there were so many shades of that colour?! 50 shades of grey has nothing on my talents, let me tell you!
I do believe it’s the impatience factor that has lead to this repeated issue. I evenly (I use the term loosely) distribute jelly between four glasses, realise I have far too much left over and some 13 glasses later, the first layer is complete. I refrigerate it, get bored, wobble it, convince myself it is set enough, and set about adding the next layer. Which I equally convince myself is “cool enough”. Several “Fucking fucks!” and a horrendous blend of colours later, I say fuck it, make up another batch of jelly and pour the sucker in.
It still tastes nice with ice-cream, although I really can’t explain what flavour it actually is. I don’t think there’s a name for it other than “just eat the damned stuff, it’s all you’re getting for dessert” which I don’t think fits on any sort of Dulux colour chart.
Most times, I am very much attuned to what I am and am not capable of. Other times, I become stubborn and determined and I will repeatedly persist until I beat it.
There really is nothing like the experience of dancing around the kitchen, in front of the open fridge and yelling “IN YOUR FACE JELLY! I WON!”
My husband continued shaking his head.
Why not a week ago I attempted a similar dessert, only I had two layers and some “evenly chopped strawberries”. As even as 1.5mm and 3.6 inches and everything in between can be.
“I though you were going to put the berries in the bottom layer,” he said.
“I did,” I replied.
“No,” he says. “Just in the bottom layer.”
“I did,” I state, again.
“No, in the red bit at the bottom. Not on the top.”
“I did,” I repeat.
“Ah,” he says, realising that my unique ability to fuck up layered jelly/panna cotta had once again come to the fore. “I wondered how you got the berry pieces just under the surface of the top layer.”
Because. I’m. Special.
It takes a unique kind of talent.
But I persisted, and I fought intensely with my patience, perfectionism (ish) taking the reins, and I made a slightly uneven, unmistakably coloured, layered jelly that was scoffed by all.
The next day, I managed to beg, plead, and trade off to get him to install the extra shelves in the pantry. It’s been three months. My pantry is hurting my head. Also, I’ve never had a decent pantry to work with and this latest is about as good as it’s every been. It just needs more shelves.
We went to Bunnings, we bought the stuff, I got overly excited until I realised I was overly excited about fucking shelving, then I got sad for a bit. So I made myself happy again by labelling some already-in-use Tupperware containers, so that my eldest would stop making me peppermint tea with sugar and milk, because “Oh, I though that was the normal tea!”
With four additional shelves, I was able to put stuff in the pantry, trying to stuff too many things on the shelf. I could access everything.
I also made sure I put all my Tupperware on one side, so that it looked like I was organised.
Admittedly, I am a bit of a Tupperware freak. But not one of those over the top crazies. Yes, I have a lot and yes everything goes in it. That was because I got sick of boxes of cereal and biscuits being dropped (a genetic phenomena that appears to run through our entire family) and spilling themselves, intriguingly, across three rooms, and crunching around for days because “it wasn’t me” who spilt it. Tupperware solved that problem.
So what appears is a rather anally neat array of high-quality plastic containers, each with a designated purpose and position within my pantry.
What you don’t see is the other shelves, which contain bugger all Tupperware and which looks more along the lines of “If I just shove everything under the bed or in the wardrobe, my bedroom will look like I tidied it!”. Only, of course, it is not in the bedroom, it is in the kitchen, but the same concept applies.
Now I have conquered the jelly situation, I’ll probably never do it again. I don’t like it that much and, quite frankly, I’m bored with it.
Now I’ve spent a day, or two hours, sorting my pantry, there’s a good chance it will never look the same again.
Especially given I need to do a shop, so more stuff will need to be shelved … somewhere ….
I’m fine. I just had a moment of excitement and had to share. Personal victories.
Just beware the vision you see before you; for it is not always as it seems … and it is always only a part of the picture.