Oscar and I tried an experiment worthy of Heston Blumenthal this weekend.
On one of his great washing up days he was playing with some moulds I use when I make hot chocolate pudding with gooey insides. When we were drying them I said: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we filled these with different types of jelly and made a jelly sandcastle?’
He said: ‘Yes! That would be awesome. Let’s do it.’
It was at this point that I thought: ‘Oh bum!’ But it was too late to back down.
I should know never to let the random thoughts that flit through my brain spew out of my mouth, mainly because people often want to punch me. Other times because it gets me in a mess, literally and figuratively.
I had in mind something spectacular along the lines of the creations by the jelly maestros Bompass & Parr. They call themselves Jelly Mongers, which I love, and make all kinds of amazing jelly sculptures, including architectural edifices.
When I dream, I dream big.
In my head, it was all going to be easy peasy.
There were several things I didn’t factor in:
My own inbuilt incompetence when it comes to any project where I have to make something, and what I am making looks excellent in my head. This excellence in the head thing is a sure and certain sign of disaster. You think I would have learned by now.
My own son’s failure to wait for anything for more than about half an hour.
Our total lack of jelly moulds that are actually useful and work in any way.
Ignorance is bliss so they say.
We bought much jelly. We made much jelly.
We did not make as much jelly as Oscar would have liked. This is because after a short time I ran out of room in the fridge, and this was after emptying quite a lot out of the fridge in the first place.
Still, we had three pints of jelly in various containers, so there was plenty to go at.
I turned the fridge temperature up, and then we waited. I waited with more patience than Oscar, who came running in about every twenty minutes to see if the jelly had set yet.
Finally, after about six hours of this I decided that whether the jelly had set or not, we would do the deed after tea.
Foolishly we went for our showers first.
We should have waited.
Firstly, in order to get the jelly out of the moulds I came up with the cunning idea of putting them in a hot water bath first.
This did work, but too well, and the jelly, some of which wasn’t entirely set anyway, fell out from a great height all over the table, and the chairs, and the floor, and only a bit onto the plate we had chosen for our great work of art.
Mostly, by the time we had finished it looked like a lot of dead jellyfish washed up on the beach.
Luckily both of us were in hysterics by this point, and disappointment was swept aside in a wave of enjoying how utterly and terribly wrong it was all going.
I am putting my letter applying for an internship at Bompass & Parr into the bin.