Thursday, October 13, 2011

Watermelon Jelly

                                                   "Watermelon chicken sea" (Manglish)                                                    

              Watermelon jelly: cherry Jello for the red, grass jelly for the seeds and Bols Green peppermint    jelly for the rind.

Another stressful day! I put my ginger milk jelly into the fridge, went marketing (we've been eating very simple quick meals the last two weeks), took mom to the hairdresser, came home, opened the fridge and saw that my jelly hadn't set! It had to be something--enzymes perhaps, like in papayas--in the ginger juice that was preventing the jelly from setting. I tested that by using agar powder instead of gelatine and sure enough the jelly didn't set again. I poured the jelly into a pot and added eggs and cornflour. It sort of set hours later but I didn't like the texture. I couldn't imagine eating a whole 200 ml mould of custard. What I don't eat I wouldn't blog, I decided long ago.

It was way past 5 pm, too late if I wanted to make another jelly and take photos without using the flash. But I want to stay in the game, so I decided to do an old jelly, something from the 70s. Okay, maybe 80s. I've lost count. I used to do a huge watermelon jelly in a big bowl for my kids' birthday parties that looked like the real thing but have forgotten how to do that now. One day I'll ask Maureen, my ex-colleague. Anyway, as in previous situations, any jelly is better than no jelly. It was pretty good still, better than eating a big cone of custard.

Watermelon jelly with ice cream--kids'll love it.

There's no better time than this post to tell you about Royal Selangor Pewter (RSP), the sponsor of the Jelliriffic! Challenge, which is raising funds for the Breast Cancer Welfare Association of Malaysia, a voluntary organisation founded in 1986 by medical specialists for the support of women with breast cancer. I'll talk about breast cancer tomorrow but today, it's about RSP.

RSP was started by a man named Yoon Koon who came to Malaysia from China in 1885. While many Chinese worked as tin miners in Kuala Lumpur, a city that grew on tin mining, Yoon had the foresight to work with the tin, rather than mine it, turning it into value-added household items. The company survived two world wars and today, the fourth generation of Yoons are managing the company, continuing the company's reputation for making products of excellent craftsmanship, exquisite design and quality. RSP is a Malaysian household name and most homes have at least an RSP item. RSP products are highly esteemed worldwide and are good enough to give to the Queen. Or queen.

On a personal note, I have been searching my house for an RSP vase that was very popular in the 70s and 80s. I particularly like that vase because it is perfect for a single stem of orchid. It was affordable too and for me, was the second most popular item for friends' birthdays and house-warming, the first item being RSP's photo frames. I couldn't find my vase to show you but it looked like this, except it had a smooth surface, not a hammered one. Browsing through the RSP online catalog, I fell in love with the Bud Vase (affordable) and the Arabasque Vase  (pricey). When a friend told me last week that any damaged or tarnished RSP item can be sent back to be restored at a very low cost, I flipped because I had thrown my dented classic vase away a few years ago after a spring-clean.

A few days ago, when searching for a glass bowl, I suddenly saw at a corner in an upper cabinet, all forgotten, an old pewter mug! I knew it had to be RSP's because I don't have any other pewter but RSP's. Without kissing ass, RSP is the best pewter brand in the world and I'd be upset if I get anything else. In fact, I'm not sure if there are other pewter brands in KK. I would expect that they all got bumped off by RSP by now.

When I made a big hoo-ha over the old pewter mug, my mom said, "Oh, is that what you were looking for? We had so many of those pewter things, most of them from Uncle Teo." Uncle Teo, my godsister's dad who was my mom's best friend's husband (can't figure it out? It's the same person),was the area manager for the Malaysian Singapore Airlines back in the 60s and 70s. Which is why the old mug has these engravings:

"MSA" for Malaysian Singapore Airlines, prior to 1972 when the two countries operated one airline together. The wood on the handle is missing.

The other side of the handle is fine.


I thought at first that this mug was not an RSP product because it says "Selangor Pewter" on the handle. I checked and found that the company changed to its present name in 1992 after being conferred a royal warrant by the late Selangor Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.

Wow. I am so keeping this mug, rugged and all.

RSP's photo frames are worth their weight and banks usually give them to loyal customers.

Yesterday, my friend Su called up and insisted that I go over to her house to see her RSP collection. We live 5 minutes' drive apart. Again, she was like me "I never buy anything but RSP!" when I doubted a beautiful tray with a coy-looking cat was RSP's. Most of her collection are photo frames, a couple as big as a foot high, but I think I shouldn't put up her family photos even though she didn't say so. I think her girls would mind so here is the other part of Su's RSP collection:

Beautiful RSP decorative items.

Oh yes, the watermelon jelly recipe.

Watermelon Jelly:
1 1/2 cup red Jello (strawberry or cherry)
1/2 cup green Jello (I used agar and Bols Green Peppermint + a drop of green coloring)
some grass jelly
1. Pour a teaspoon of the red jelly into the Nick Munro jelly mould (stand in a mug) and drop some chopped grass jelly in for the seeds. Repeat until all the jelly is gone. Chill.
2. Top the red jelly with the boiling hot green jelly and let it set. Chill well.
3. Serve with ice cream.


boo_licious said...

So weird since ginger juice coagulates milk naturally in the milk desserts served in HK.

Never mind, it was a good save as watermelon jelly looks great.

chopinandmysaucepan said...

Very nice jelly Terri although I enjoyed reading your hilarious post even more.

That mug just transported me back to my childhood coz my dad used to drink beer out of them. We had tons of it and after a while the wooden handle would come off just like your photo! It might be worth it's place in the museum although I'm sure RSP has them too.

MSA,'s amazing how far we've come. Thanks for the memories!

Dae said...

When I first starting reading the blog, i remembered using the mugs in KK, the flower vase and ashtrays. brought back so many memories..... I remember the mugs but not the MSA engraving. remember using them when we first moved to Tokyo but don't recall them in the later years. wonder what happened to all of them. don't recall seeing them in the house in Kuching either. Hmmm.


I remember my first RSP product was a little girl figurine praying - I think they had a range like that. Not sure if they still do.

The watermelon colour looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I remember those RSP mugs too. Brings back precious memories of my childhood and my parents, just as it did for chopinandmysaucepan. Thanks for the wonderful post and I think your watermelon although simple looks beautiful and I'll eat it anytime! You are doing great!

Fooman said...

My mum used to make the watermelon jelly too! I dunno if she still has the recipe though.

Lite Home Bake said...

I still can't figure out what does "Watermelon chicken sea" mean, mind explaining?
Although the watermelon jelly may not look as jaw dropping as the rest, am sure it had a refreshing taste with a blend of strawberry and mint flavours in it.

Zurin said...

This is another winner Terri! What will you do next? You surprise me everyday when I think it might be impossible will win.. you will win!:) Funny story too :P

Anonymous said...

Your post really brought back memories and to actually see such an old mug still around! And to top it off, it looks like your friend has a Royal Selangor store in her house! LOL!!!

ninazsyafinaz said...

At susccessfully done the watermelon Jelly instead. Jelly and ice -cream never go wrong..Kids love it!!OOoo Your friend Su collection of RSP is wonderful.

Sharon said...

Enjoyed the write-up but not the jelly. Sure you have planned something bombastic, so, let's bring it on.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Whenever I visited Malaysia from the US I always brought back something from Royal Selangor for my Mom. Interestingly, pewter jelly moulds are the only RS things we have in our own house!

Lady G said...

Cute watermelon jellies.

jinkar said...

When you remember how you do it in a big bowl, please post. I have a friend who used to do it but would remain coy about it and refuse to share the recipe. I think I have a vague idea. Most of my RSP things are gifts from friends and family. I think I have a miniature chinese style screen from the Seasons collection which was a farewell present from a friend's mum when I left for Australia and some beakers also from the Seasons collection which were a wedding present from my brother.

tina said...

Hehe, I do remember the flower vase, we used to give them out as presents! Your watermelon jelly looks great too!

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

Love the witty and candid post! I'm sure if I ask my mom to dig around, she might unearth a few dusty Selangor Pewter knick-knacks.

megan said...

Hi godma it's Megan here. Love your kelpies wish I was there in Malaysia learning how to cook with you .
Love the angry bird cake Wei is so lucky to have you .

With lots of love
Megan Yee your God Daughter

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