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Bookish Bites : Jubilee and birthday jelly!

Well, well… what have you all been up to recently? We’re all recovering from a stinker of a summer cold so things have been a little quiet of late. We’ve also had a rather fabulous holiday to Norway which was wonderful. We left shortly after the Jubilee celebrations in London and while there’s always the energy  for a little flag waving and jubulant Jubilee celebrations, amidst the sneezing and packing there wasn’t quite enough time to post this homage to the wobbly jubilee jelly we made.

Milo and I needed a book with some Royalty in to help inspire us around the Jubilee celebrations and we chose The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble by Angela Mitchell and illustrated by Sarah Horne (Maverick Books).

“‘I won’t wobble, I won’t wobble and that’s my final word!’ screamed the jelly.” 

As many of you know I work with Maverick on their social media. They are a small, independent children’s picture book publisher and the quality of their publishing keeps on getting better. The four books they’ve published this year are testament to that. The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble by Angela Mitchell and illustrated by Sarah Horne is a really fun book to read aloud with your child.

It’s Princess Lolly’s 89th birthday and she’s demanding her rather marvellous, bright red jelly that she has every year. Unfortunately, this particularly grumpy jelly refuses to wobble. No amount of poking it with a walking stick, melting it and shouting can get this very stubborn jelly to wobble. Luckily, the youngest guest at the party has a bright idea ready to save the day.

Milo has really enjoyed reading this. As I said earlier, it’s a great read aloud book with plenty of opportunities to do some daft voices. It worked well for our Jubilee celebrations introducing him to the idea of Princesses and Royalty – something we don’t discuss much in this house (divided opinions) and as he doesn’t watch TV yet he’s not experienced any Disney Kings, Queens and the like! The story itself is great at giving subtle power to the child with the littlest guest calmly and quietly solving the problem while all the grown-ups around him panic and make things worse. Sarah Horne’s illustrations are brilliant too. Bright, colourful, witty and silly – ideal for a three year old boy! You can read Sarah’s blog here and check out her site and other work here.

So, on with the make. We’re vegetarian so can’t use your normal gelatin based products to make jelly with so we opted for vege gel. I’ve used this before but with very little success so I decided to keep things very, very simple.

We chose to make a pint of orange jelly to pour into little moulds. Now, vege gel recommend that if you’re using an acidic liquid you should use two sachets of powder to form your jelly, so this is what we did:

3/4 pint of orange juice
1/4 pint of water
Two tablespoons of white caster sugar (you may want to use more)
Two sachets of vege-gel

It’s pretty easy from there. Simply add caster sugar to the orange juice and water mix then sprinkle two sachets of vege-gel over the mix and stir very well. Milo enjoyed the vigorous stirring a lot!

Then pour your liquid into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Once the mix is ready pour into your moulds and pop straight into the fridge to cool quickly. We left ours in the fridge for an hour or two before turning out.

I popped some little sugarpaste Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble eyes onto the jelly which seemed to please the little person (though they did slide off pretty quickly!).

But, and most importantly, did the jelly wobble? Well, we poked and prodded it and added some ice-cream (quickly eaten) to make it shiver and no, it didn’t wobble. Well, not really. Not in the way normal gelatin based jelly does. The whole thing wobbled as an entirety but not a shiver wobble which is the kind Princess Lolly was after too.

Milo’s verdict (in a haughty voice): “This jelly doesn’t wobble!” He ate it despite its lack of wobbliness.

It was father’s day and my dad’s birthday a short while ago and while we were still in Norway so we couldn’t celebrate either events at home until last weekend, but the jelly  got me thinking. My dad has always loved fruit jellies, jelly babies and the like and well, being a bit difficult to buy for, I thought it would be fun to make him something daft for father’s day. And so, presenting, our “celebration of the fruit jelly, jelly.”

I used the same quantities as described above but made one large mould… this made for much more successful wobbling of the jelly. Here are the fruit jelly connoisseurs discussing their favourite colours and flavours.

And, where there’s jelly, there’s trifle. bottom layer – vanilla sponge, then jelly, then custard, then jam, then whipped cream and a fruit jelly on the top. Milo didn’t make it past the whipped cream. He’d spotted Graddad’s birthday victoria sponge and wanted a slice of that instead. He didn’t make it all the way through that either. Too much for one little boy!


And so, The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble inspired two jelly outings. Hurrah!

As I work for Maverick which is rather lovely as they’re a very nice publishing company, I was sent my copy of The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble gratis for review. But, as always, all views are mine and Milo’s. You can keep up to date with The Royal Scoop over on the Maverick Books blog. And if you fancy getting yourself a signed copy of The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble you could always pop along to one of Angela’s many readings and events over summer. 

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Norway? Fab! Isn’t your mum from there?
    I have to say as a non-Brit I can not abide jelly and never feed my children it either LOL
    It is great book though, I agree!
    See you tomorrow?

    June 29, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      Yes she is! We went with my mum and dad and had an amazing time. I haven’t been since I was 9 and it is such a beautiful country. Milo loved it too. No, jelly is not something that I particularly like to eat either – it is a very British thing though. As is trifle I think… I’m not a big fan of trifle but my other half absolutely adores it. I prefer cake. Every time! Yep – should be along tomorrow. Looking forward to it 🙂

      June 29, 2012
  2. Mmmm… Yummy! Lovely book too, thanks for joining Friday Pick{ture Book}!

    July 6, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      No problem! Thanks for hosting! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts 🙂

      July 6, 2012
  3. I love this idea of making food linked to books! I am so un-crafty and look on with a mixture of bewilderment/envy at the many blogs that have book-inspired craft activities! But baking I can do so we may well try this out! The book sounds fun too – I love books with characters that require a silly voice when reading out loud!

    July 6, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      Yes… I try to be crafty but quite frankly, Milo responds better to food! And we have so much fun. It’s hard to get through a book without wondering how to turn it into cake or something else. Not had too much time recently but summer holidays coming up so I’ll imagine will be spending some time in the kitchen 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoy your silly voices!

      July 6, 2012
  4. I love the idea of linking the book with a food – a great way to engage children (especially ones like mine who love jelly). Have you tried mixing strawberry jelly with a couple of teaspoons of peach yoghurt? works well!

    July 6, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      Ooh no, I haven’t tried that but it sounds yummy. Milo would definitely like it – two of his favourite things! Loving the look of the “Stick” book you’ve reviewed… I am often given sticks as presents from my lovely son! This is what we did after a read of Stick Man and some inspiration from Red Ted Art: Thanks so much for stopping by!

      July 9, 2012
  5. We received a copy of this book this week from Emma the BookSniffer/App Puppy blogger as we won a bundle of books from her Appy Puppy website … and we just love it! So much fun to read, brilliantly original story and fun pictures. Actually I can’t wait for my Grandma to turn 89 as she is so young at heart, I would love to give her this book as a birthday present.

    July 6, 2012
    • natashaworswick #

      I love the idea that you will be getting this for your Grandma! I really like getting children’s books as gifts for adults. Yay for winning a book bundle on the App Puppy and thanks so much for stopping by!

      July 9, 2012

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