J is for Jello
Jello and I go way back. My mom would sometimes let me put a splat of cool whip on a bowl of oddly colored jello or make those nifty little jello jigglers cut into fun little shapes. And I absolutely loved that layered jello dessert with the pretzel crust that was made only for company, yum. When I waitressed at a crazy college bar, part of my job was to make jello shots and then sell them. They were good, not a problem. It’s true, we used to get along.
But, for whatever reason, jello hates me. I cannot make it anymore. It seems simple enough; hot water, dissolve, cold water, wait, voila – jello. No, not for me. It lured me in too….see, I made my own, incredibly impressive, jello dessert with the pretzel crust for a New Years Eve party. It was a huge hit, everyone loved it..asked for the recipe….took some home. ( not only was it awesome, it was made in an enormous pan too, extra impressive)
So, I figured I finally had something special to bring to gatherings, something I would be “known” for, as in “Oh, be sure to ask Sylvie to bring the jello dessert.” This made be proud and happy. I was finally a grown up with a special recipe. I was ready for this….until Jello and I had a showdown in the kitchen one fateful morn.
My son invited all of his nearest and dearest to his graduation party last year….in other words, he posted the invite on Facebook, yikes! We had hundreds of people coming…yes, seriously. So, of course I was planning on making “my famous Jello dessert” – even though I flupped it up once since the big reveal – figured it was just a fluke- I purchased many boxes of jello, bags and bags of pretzels, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, raspberries and a new large pan, since I was going to make at least two huge batches.
Something went terribly wrong….the first batch didn’t set – at all. In fact it made the crust all gross and soggy….tried again, nope, nothing gelled….by this time I was running out of time, and bowls in the kitchen….so I grabbed the black bowl from on top of the fridge, poured in the hot water and jello…..and it poured all over the floor…(the black bowl from on top the fridge was apparently a fairly weak plastic, it melted)
Now, I am getting concerned….guests were going to be arriving, the floor is red and sticky, there was other food to get ready – and of course the dishwasher decided to join in the fun and start leaking…..)
BUT, I do not give up easily. I took a deep breathe, this was not the time to panic. I ran up to the store- got more supplies- and started yet again, slower, more deliberate, this jello was not going to beat me. I measured, poured, stirred…waited…
….and waited….threw in the freezer to help it along….nothing. It was time to just forgetaboutit….we had a big ol’ cake and plenty of people bringing assorted goodies….but I couldn’t forget. This was personal now. I thought, okay, maybe the pans are just too big, I’ll try a small batch, just a little bit of jello, really how hard could it be?
The jello won that day.
I can’t look at jello without starting to twitch. It got me. It got me good. I surrender Mr. Jello. You and your artificial flavorings and color, you and your red dye #5; you won, buddy, you won fair and square.