Monday, April 13, 2009

Hope your Easter was fab. Let's talk Jell-O.

I have always loved Jell-O. 
Can't help it. 

Is 7 generations of Mormon Pioneer heritage reaching out from my tightly wound double helixes (helices?) to claim me as their own. 

I love it all, really, but I do not like it with any sort of vegetables (except celery. Finely chopped celery can be quite tasty.) 

I also avoid nuts, because it ruins the smooth and silky texture that to me is the simple beauty of Jell-O. (Except in that cran-raspberry jello filled with fresh cranberry relish. I can eat a whole pan of that over a long Thanksgiving weekend. Kari came to Thanksgiving and she was sold. Right, Kari?) 

But the best Jell-O I ever ate came to my door from an unknown source about a week after Sam was born (6 years ago). It was delicious. It came as manna from heaven. It was the food of the gods. (No, that wasn't foreshadowing. It isn't that Ambrosia Jell-O salad). Never has the idiom "hit the spot" been such a terrible understatement. I ate it all by myself. No sharing. Then I stuck my head deep into the Jell-O container and licked it clean.

I had Jell-O in my eyebrows. 
I was without pride, without shame. 

The Jell-O came from some nameless nice lady in my ward who brought us an after-baby dinner (I was going to say 'after-birth dinner', but that sounds super gross). Unfortunately, Jake answered the door. Even worse, since it came in the giant-sized Cool Whip container, and not in somebody's tupperware, 'Sister So-and-So's' name was not in masking tape on the bottom. The Cool Whip container was mine to keep. I could never send Sister Doe a thank you note. 

In some ways, though, the anonymity was good. For years afterward, I would sit in Relief Society, thinking, "was it she? Or, "maybe her?" and I would have warm and tender feelings for every woman in the room. (But then I went to work in Primary, where I had precious little time to ponder the Jell-O-creator.)

It wasn't until about 6 months later that I decided to make some of the Jell-O for myself. By then, the trail was cold. All I knew was this:

1. The Jell-O was green
2. It came in a Cool Whip container
3. It was very de-lish

I really couldn't remember anything else. Just the feeling (warm and happy) I had when I ate the Jell-O. Was not much to go on.

So I started googling green Jell-O recipes. My first attempts were tasty but way off base. I made that pistachio pudding one with the fruit and marshmallows. No, No, No. Was all wrong. I made that molded salad with the cottage cheese and the chunks of pineapple, even though in my heart I knew there were no pineapple chunks involved. It was okay, but clearly not THE JELL-O.

So yesterday I made a lime Jell-O fluff, with cream cheese, crushed pineapple, and marshmallows and lots of Cool Whip. No nuts. Duh.

I do believe I have made a breakthrough! I am now 75% sure that the elusive pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-Holy-Grail-type-Jell-O was a lime fluff. 

If it wasn't, it will be okay, because lime fluff is really super good. 

So now, I am going to strike out on my own, like a Jell-O pioneer, and make a fluff that is extra lime-y, and leave out the pineapple. Just Jell-O and Cool Whip and cream cheese, in a golden ratio, in perfect harmony. Maybe I'll add some limeade, to lime it up a bit? We'll see.

Could the answer be so simple? Who knows? I might fail, but even if I do, people will say of me: AT LEAST SHE HAD THE COURAGE TO TRY. SHE IS A HERO.


In other news, Small Child has not had one potty accident! Nary a one! As long as the diaper is off, he pees in the pot! (He's saving his solid deposits for nap time, when he gets his diaper. Is the next hurdle, of course.) Could it possibly be this easy?

(Family: photos of daughter's baptism coming soon. I think Jake has my camera in his truck.)

What's your favorite Jell-O? Please describe.


Barbaloot said...

Wow--when I lived in AZ no one EVER ate jell-o! Never. They all made fun of me for doing so.

Um---my favorite jell-o starts with just the regular boiling water, dissolving red sugar crystals, etc. But then, THEN, once it's not super hot, you mix in a red yogurt of your choice and a good amount of Cool-Whip. Then, let it set. Super good and not super fat. Yum!

Beeswax said...

That sounds very, very good. THe lime fluff is very unhealthy, filled as it is with cream cheese.

Shellie said...

That looks GOOD! I have a recipe for a pistachio cake that is TO DIE for if you like pistachios

oh and... watched the dutchess on saturday!!!!

Varney Family said...

I LOVE Jello too! My Sunt has a fantastic Strwberry Jello with cream cheese recipe (no nuts..I agree) I'll email you the recipe. Yummy! I'm excited to see Jane's pictures...what a fun day it was!

Katy said...

What about those lime jigglers? Don't get me started on how much I adore them. Jen told me about your clever blog. She and I were BFFs on Linda Lane. I had long forgotten to look you up, but then a friend listed your blog as one of her local favs. I'll agree. Your blog is totally bookmark worthy.

Jenni said...

I love that jello-pretzel salad served around the holidays...with the crushed pretzels at the bottom, cream cheese/cool whip layer, raspberries in jello on top with a little more cool whip...HEAVENLY!

Jolene said...

This might gross you out - one time, at a ward party - I ate a red jello with cheddar cheese and pecans in it and I loved it. Every time I mention making it - my family does the international sign for gagging. So I stick with our favorite: One large box of raspberry Jell-o, 2 cups pineapple juice for hot liquid and 2 cups buttermilk for cold liquid. Sounds weird but is delicious!

Wendy said...

Ok, this is my FAVORITE thing to do with Jello. Kind of lime fluff?

Seafoam Salad
1 large lime jello
1 large can pears (I don't even like pears, but this is good, trust me)
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces cool whip, thawed

Drain juice from pears into small pan, heat to boiling and dissolve jello in it. In blender, puree pears and cream cheese. Add jello mixture to blender and mix well. Refrigerate until softly set, fold in cool whip and put in a 13x9 pan, refrigerate until firm.

I have also done this with canned peaches & peach jello, also delicious. But there is something about the lime that is irresistable.

There should be some kind of prize for the winner.

Tiffani said...

My fav is the same as Jenni's. I call it Raspberry Pretzel Jell-o and I don't just make it around the holidays. I will make it anytime I can find a good excuse! LOVE me some cool whip & cream cheese!

heather said...

Glad you have found your jell-O! :) Would have loved to see a picture of you with the green goodness in your eyebrows. :)

Kari said...

I love the pretzel jello and I'm usually praised for bringing the new-fangled jello concoction. I can't believe that it's so popular out there. (Unless, of course, it has all come from me--that I would believe.)
Love the green fluff. Love the jello relish--though I am needing the recipe. I did as I was told and it didn't turn out right, so I scorned it a bit. But now I'm thinking I might be hungry.

Melanie J said...

Man, your version sounds pretty stinking delicious.

I like the strawberry/pretzel/cream cheese/whipped cream version too. So yummy.

Melanie J said...

Oh, and Wendy's sounds crazy good too.

acte gratuit said...

So once again, this comment is unrelated to this post:
Answer: Of COURSE I eat the confiscated candy!

Question: Did you get my e-mail?

P.S. I like the strawberry jell-o with the pretzel crust. Yum.

Beeswax said...

Wow. I believe I need to go the the Fresh and Easy and get some pretzels and cool whip, and some assorted jello flavors. Or maybe this is a big enough trip, I might need to go to Wal-Mart. Except they didn't have any mini marshmallows on Sat. night, so I'm a little peeved with the Wal-Mart.

I have had the pear one, but I am intrigued by the blending. Sounds right up my alley.

The cheddar sounds sketchy, Jolene. But if you make it, I'll try it!

Acte: Email? No, I only check blogs. Will go check now.

Welcome, Katy! I'll tell Jen you came by.

Shanana said...

Maybe this makes me a very bad Mormon, but food that wiggles makes me throw up in my mouth just a little bit. ESPECIALLY if there are things floating as though they were in suspended animation within its jiggly clutches.

...Unless there's a stapler in there. Then, it's just hilarious.

I know. I know. I need to go to my bishop to confess. I'm pretty sure he'll take my temple recommend away, given my terribly sacrilegious jello-less testimony. Please don't hold that against me.

Gini said...

Kelly.. I HAVE that cookbook. Do you have it too or was that just a hijacked photo of it? It could be worth alot on E-bay....

Brittany Ann said...

My favorites jello is the kind you mix with premade cook and serve pudding, then you take a cup of that mixutre out and mix it with whipped cream, and put that on top. Pretty much I love it!

Kari said...

So funny. The green jello that was brought to me had the same effect. Nirvana, is it? I knew it was green but little else. When I couldn't immediately get the recipe, but knew I had to get to the store to get some ingredients, I googled "green jello desserts" and got all the pistachio recipes. So I bought all that stuff. And some marshmallows, cause that might have been it. And some sweetened condensed milk, because that never hurt.
And then I got the recipe and was completely surprised that it wasn't pistachio. I thought, perhaps I need to make the green pudding so that I can taste it, because I should be able to tell the difference between lime and pistachio.
But it happened to you, too. Maybe it's the nirvana that takes over and all you taste is fabulousness.