Thursday, January 28, 2010

Comfort Food

Yet another post as I'm rediscovering foods.


I mentioned on Sunday that I had finished cleaning the cupboards, tossing lot of stuff I don't need anymore. I found some tubes of Wilton frosting. They were like concrete. I don't remember the last time I actually decorated a cake using any of the Wilton stuff I accumulated 20-odd years ago.

I did discover several boxes of jello.

I make a box and then have it for lunch the next day. I've had cherry and mixed berry so far. The cherry wasn't as set as I would have liked but the mixed berry was very nice. I don't know what's next and I don't remember exactly how many are in the cupboard to be used up. Eventually, they will all be gone and then I won't buy jello because it will just sit.

Growing up, we had jello with pretty much every supper. I kept that as I cooked for my family. I have a number of salad recipes which call for a particular flavor of jello. In August, I made an applesauce salad that had cherry jello mixed with applesauce. I'd forgotten how good that was.

And, if, like me, you had jello with pretty much any kind of fruit in it with your meal, you know about the pink mashed potatoes when your jello would melt and mix in with the other food. In my mind's eye, I can see corn swimming in green jello, peas in orange jello with a thin film of melted butter over both, red tinged mashed potatoes and slightly soggy bake and serve rolls whose bottoms sat on the edge of the plate but not far enough off the melting salad.

Thanksgiving dinner ALWAYS had red jello with fruit cocktail in it which meant my turkey, rolls, smashed potatoes and dressing took on a rosy hue. Few things brought smiles to kids' faces faster than serving jello topped with Cool Whip for dessert. One of the first things I learned to make in Home Ec as a 7th grader was a whipped gelatin dessert. I had been cooking with my mom for several years now and when our first real assignment was to make jello, it was a piece of cake. Heck, I even knew how to make layers. It still baffles me when someone says they can't make jello. I did know a gal in college who, even supervised, could not get jello to set.

This period of forced poverty has caused me to revisit some foods I had forgotten, such as tuna casserole and jello. I was thinking how nice beef stew would be. I have to grocery shop this next weekend. I'm thinking stew meat, potatoes and carrots need to be on the list. I'm cooking more and certainly enjoying it more.

Ah jello. I need a can of sliced pears and a small tub of Cool Whip. Dessert anyone?

Beaverage: Earl Gray tea



  1. remember when you go to the store for groceries, buy a cheap as possible beef roast and cut it into stew meat yourself. waaaay cheaper than already cut. how about cherry jello,cinnamon candy,celery,apple,nuts. or tapioca pud,orange jello,orange juice,mandarin oranges,cool whip. or raspberry jello,cranberry sauce,crushed pineapple,orange juice,lemon juice,nuts. green jello always gets pears. must be one of those Lutheran rules. love mom

  2. For some reason, my mom's comment, above, didn't take when I hit "accept". So I just cut and paste.

    Yeah, green jello ALWAYS had diced pears. Red jello could have fruit cocktail or sliced bananas. I don't like pineapple so I disliked having that in jello. Now I have to find that book, "Lutheran Church Basement Women". There are lots of comments about the "proper" rules for serving jello.

  3. My friend Francesca sent me the following email:

    Well, that's a food that's in a funny place in my life...

    I sortta like it when I have it but the only time I have it is when I'm on a 24-hour "clear liquid only" diet for some medical test, so it's sort of become a symbol of that for me. (like gator and power ade)

    I had some apricot jello last week and it was good...cherry has always been my favorite, hate black cherry though.

    In the school cafeteria, we used to have lime jello with carrots in it...yuck. Pineapple in lime or cherry is OK but fruit cocktail should be banned from existance in any situation.

    I HATE "fluffy" salads with jello and Cool Whip as the binding agent...NO! Heidi's mom made them alot and so Heidi makes them some. I just pass them along at the table.

    Jello should NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER be poured in liquid form into holes in the top of a cake and called dessert and topped with anything. Just don't soggy-up a cake with that. ICKY!

    And who thought up finger jello--consisting of some rubber-like substance that we feed to children?

    Well, from this, one would assume there are NO boxes of jello in MY pantry and one would be correct...until I have some miserable medical prep I have to do again.