In our weekly Skype call to Alastair I was telling him how I have recently made a wonderful discovery in our local supermarket (Tesco's).
Jello ... something I have not seen for over 40 years. Now Jello is as common in USA and Canada as Heinz ketchup is here.
Yes, there has always been a coloured gelatin sold in the UK but it was sold in a gelatinous block divided little cubes that you broke apart before adding it to the boiling water.
Food in the UK has to be labelled with all the ingredients and additives so here is the sticky label put on the box imported from Canada. It shows that this cherry Jello contains allura red, among other things, which gives it that chemical red colour (and "May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children".)
I love the stuff and, apart from reminding me of birthday parties and Tupperware desserts with mini-marshmallows, I make a bowl of this to which I add a bag of (frozen) summer fruits (e.g. blackberries, black currents, cherries and strawberries).
However Alastair made me laugh when he asked me if remembered the time when we sailing one summer holiday when he was about 10 years old. We were coming into the anchorage, Port Ramsay, on the north end of the island of Lismore which lies off the coast of Scotland. Iain knew there was a rock in the fairway so had the main sail down and was ghosting in slowly. He stood on the bow looking for the rock which he knew did not show but definitely had to be avoided. I was on the helm. Mairi was down below in the cabin playing on the floor and Alastair was sitting at the table in the cabin gently stirring a bowl of jelly that he'd just made.
We hit the rock ...
Iain was bounced up (and down again) where he stood, I was thrown forward a bit in the cockpit where I was standing, Mairi was jolted from her position on the cabin floor where she was crouched on all fours and Alastair had the whole bowl of jelly thrown up into his face ... into his ears ... and what didn't land there flew on to the bulkhead partition behiind where he was sitting!
He got up and his wee face peered out of the companionway up shouting up to Iain "Dad! I've been jellied!"
The reply came back: "I'll deal with you in a minute, son ... we've got problems of our own!"
And to this day, at the end of every winter when the boat is closed up for the season, there is apt to be mould growing on one particular sugary patch on that bulkhead partition!