Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jell-O Goodness

Recently, I made up a box of Jell-O gelatin. It had been years since I even thought of making a bowl of the wiggly concoction. That said, I added water to the powder, because that's really all there is to it. After four hours in the refrigerator, I was able to enjoy every jiggly bite.

One could say Jell-O and I go back quite a ways. It all began with Grandma Noella. I never once saw her refrigerator without a bowl of Jell-O sitting inside just waiting for someone to dig into. Of course, if you were lucky enough to be visiting her home, you had to have “push” cream, as she called it, gracing the top. That would be whip cream in a can⎯for the uninitiated who may have no idea what I am talking about. She would say, “Anything with push cream is always better.” Before we went to bed at night, out came the Jell-O and push cream, because Grandma didn’t want to send us to bed hungry⎯like that would happen!

So began my years with Jell-O, and soon I was making my own. My mom had the inspiring 1960’s cookbook, The Joys of Jell-O, along with a variety of bright, shiny molds. As my reading skills improved, I began experimenting with all things Jell-O. I molded, layered and whipped, added ice cubes, ice cream and whipping cream, along with various shredded, sliced and diced cheeses, fruits and vegetables. I was a budding Jell-O chef. My goal was to try all the beautiful recipes in the Jell-O cookbook. “O” the hours I spent scrutinizing its pages. I never achieved the goal, but I enjoyed eating all of my trials and errors⎯yes, errors. While throwing the powder in a bowl and adding water is easy, creating jeweled masterpieces is certainly not.

Over time, I moved onto other things in the kitchen, and Jell-O was left behind. It wasn’t until I made this recent bowl that I thought about my Jell-O fascination of days gone by. Jell-O always conjures up thoughts of Grandma, push cream and plenty of smiles. When was the last time you had an inspiring bowl of jiggly goodness? Perhaps it’s time to feel like a kid again and create your own masterpiece, but whatever you do⎯don't forget the push cream!
Fire Cubes photo courtesy of Matt Reinbold