23 July 2009

Jiggle, jiggle

While traveling solo with the kids recently, we stopped in Hong Kong for what was supposed to be a brief layover. In reality, the stop ended up consuming an extra seven hours of our time due to flight delays. Rolling my eyes in exasperation (I mean really, who wants to entertain two of the five and under set at an airport--any takers?), we wandered, hoping to pass the time quickly.

We looked at over priced souvenirs. My son kissed a life-sized plastic ramen girl who was promoting steaming soups. We found a little television set with other travel weary families. But, after witnessing two minutes of sword swallowing, blood spurting animation I quickly decided to take the kids for a look at a few more overpriced souvenirs.

And, then, off in the distance, I saw the beckoning green and white lights of my favorite coffee chain. While I enjoy local businesses in almost every scenario, there's one coffee chain that I frequent as if it is a second home no matter where in the world I am. And, this long layover was about to become one fortunate, life changing stop as it will forever be remembered as the day I discovered... coffee jelly.

With my kids already eyeing the nearby playground they had just discovered, I placed an order for a latte with coffee jelly. I've long stared at Thailand's jellied drinks, a bit nervous to try them at the open air markets. On Bangkok's streets, vendors stand in the humid heat stirring giant glass vats of milky liquid with various colors of gelatinous globs floating through.

Upon receiving my drink in Hong Kong, I had doubts. Cubes of darkly tinted gelatin floated through the cold latte like leeches hiding in a muddy river. And, then, with kids happily prancing through the playground, I slurped and fell in love. Milky latte mingled with small droplets of rich, almost bitter, espresso beads.

The subsequent hours in Hong Kong were filled with two more coffee jelly drinks, hours of playground merriment and an extremely caffeinated self boarding a plane (with two sweaty hot, happy children in tow!).

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 59:
Coffee Jelly
After a bit of work in the kitchen, I finally settled on the consistency that matched the jellies I enjoyed during my layover in Hong Kong. The finished product should not be too firm, but rather "scoopable". Add a scoop to your next iced coffee drink, think of a long layover in Hong Kong (and be thankful that you're not at an airport!) and then settle into a lawn chair in the summer sun!

2 cups of your favorite freshly brewed coffee
1 Tablespoon gelatin
2 Tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients and stir well, until the gelatin and sugar is completely dissolved. Spray a deep bowl with a mist of vegetable spray and pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, make an iced coffee (or a glass of chocolate milk) add a large scoop of coffee jelly, some ice, and a straw.

Will keep for two weeks in an air-proof container, kept under refrigeration.


  1. Uch! A long layover with kids is awful even if the airport is great. I once had to sit in transit from Canada to Australia with my sick six year old and I vowed to never fly that distance again with him. If the jelly was good enough to get you through a long layover I'll give it a try. It must be yummy or at least worth a new culinary experiment! I've been reading your blog for a long time but have never left a comment. Love reading about your adventures.

  2. Sounds kind of like bubble tea with the little beads of jelly. Can't wait to try this recipe!

  3. omg does that sound like torture? yes! I have in the 5 and under set and I feel for you. jellied drinks sound so gross but this sounds doable. I'll give it a shot!

  4. This sounds so interesting. Something I would have never known to try, but so glad you shared about it. I'll have some time in the HK airport soon and I'm going to check it out, if I don't make my own before.


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