Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On being 30 and turning to jelly…

So I just turned thirty - which probably isn't a big deal since I've been acting middle aged since I was about 12 and most of my friends are pushing 40 but somehow it inspired a bit of a birthday funk.  Probably not helped by waking up with a bout of viral conjunctivitis on my birthday (a thoughtful birthday gift from the kids!).

With a new decade looming it felt like some sort of mega-new-years-eve style event in which I should make some resolutions.  So here are my resolutions for my 30s, the things I'm going to try and do now that I'm all grown up...

Make my bed every day (I'm ashamed to admit this task has long been neglected in our household).  I think making an effort to keep our bedroom nice will be a mood lifter.  Now I'm not talking about anything extreme like hospital corners - just a shake of the doona and general 3 minute room reset after I get dressed in the morning.

Like Jelly.  For some reason I never liked it as a child but now that I'm all grown up there is something about the theatricality of a moulded jelly that really appeals to me.  I recently bought mum Wobble, a cookbook dedicated entirely to the art of jelly making.  I have to confess I have no idea if mum even likes jelly but I really wanted this book for myself (it really is a bad habit of mine, purchasing gifts I actually want to keep!  So don't be surprised if you end up with a retro eames pencil sharpener on your next birthday… you've been warned!)  Anyway, I digress, mum made me an awesome mandarin and vanilla bean jelly for my birthday lunch.  It was like a very sophisticated version of something from an Enid Blyton book, because you know jelly is a requisite food on any of her fictional tables.  (As noted in this amusing excerpt from the Wishing Chair, 'Then came the supper.  It was so queer.  The long, long table was spread with plates and glasses and dishes, but there was no food at all, no, not even a yellow jelly.')  So this year I'm hoping to put jelly on the table when we're celebrating, because really is there anything more delightful?

Introduce cocktail Friday.  I'm instigating this as a little rewarding adult 'me' time.  With a little help from this gorgeous little book, I'll try a new cocktail every week this year.

Create a beautiful garden.  I'm by no means a gardener.  Up until now leaving a plant in my care basically amounted to a death sentence for the poor leafy friend.  Maybe it won't be any different this time around since so far all I've done is begin to wage a war on all the weeds that have taken up residence in my garden.  But I have dreams of apple trees, herb gardens, hollyhocks and foxgloves (I'm not sure if I even really know what a foxglove is but with such a magically evocative name I'm sure it must be fabulous!).  It's funny how the older I get the more I end up becoming my parents.  I think I've mentioned before that my dad is a passionate photographer.  For years I didn't take a single picture and refused to even consider photography as a worthwhile endeavour.  Now it's absolutely one of my favourite hobbies.  The same could probably said for gardening.  Whenever dad has a free moment you can usually find him somewhere in the garden.  I'm hoping some of the skills might have magically rubbed off on me!!

Never eat McDonalds again.  I know it's bad for me and I could make (or buy) a much nicer burger that actually resembles real food.  I'm going to fight the lure of my childhood memories of the golden arches.

That's about it.  I'm not sure how long my resolve will last on all of these.  Maybe only a few weeks!  If anyone is interested I'm blogging over at food fanatics today with a post on kale.


  1. Well done on surviving the trip into the 30s! :-)
    That jelly looks wonderful! I only make mine in little single-serve pots because it never comes out of fancy moulds properly- is there a trick to it?

    Good luck with your gardening! The weather's perfect to start getting out there more now...and yes, weeding is a boring but first step. The best fun is planning what to plant when, and where.

    Foxgloves are very pretty, but also very toxic- If you do plant some, make sure it's well away from little hands! :-/

    I wish you well in your endeavours to never eat Maccas again...Making your own burgers and serving them with shoestring fries and softdrink in a ridiculously large cup at home, could help stem the cravings ;-)

    1. the trick is to immerse the mould in a sink of hot water for about 15 seconds, then use a knife to very gently ease a bit of the jelly from the side of the mould to help break the seal, then invert and tap until it comes out. If it is still stuck stick it back in the sink for another couple of seconds and try again. I very light brushing of almond oil in the mould can also help.

      Now I'm dreaming of burgers and fries with a big cup of soft drink... mmmm

    2. Ah, I must try that next time. I have a metal mould, but after one failure never used it again. I assume hot water works well for both plastic and the older metal ones?

      Hehe, luckily with home-made you can put lots of lettuce and beetroot and carrot and sprouts on the burger to make it healthier. ;-)

    3. it works for metal and plastic but obviously the metal heats up faster so make sure you don't hold in the water for too long or the jelly will start to melt.

    4. Haha, good point. I once poured hot custard over jelly...and ended up with jellysoup. So sad. Lesson learnt. ;-)

  2. Replies
    1. thanks Jacinta! Btw love your new blog!

  3. I love your resolutions: they sound festive, especially the one that involves eating jelly! I like your kale pasta sauce too: I'll have to give it a go. Have you ever made kale chips?

  4. Belated birthday wishes - my gosh, only 30, such a landmark but more than one landmark behind me. You have already achieved so much, a loving partner, two kids, building your own home and those are only the parts I see. Think of all you will achieve in the next 10 x

  5. hey happy late birthday!! i'd be thrilled to be 30 again, 37 is looming and THAT is definitely suited to birthday funk - almost forty, sheesh. and don't beat yourself up about macca's, i'm sure all the good food you eat regularly balances out the odd salty, greasy indulgence!