The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jello 101

Everyone knows that jello is the easiest dessert to make, right?

All you have to do is empty the packet of jello into a bowl, add boiling water, stir, add cold water, and chill until set. Even a little child could follow those directions!Image

Well, the first time I made jello, I thought I would get creative and dress it up a little. The jello was strawberry flavored, and I had pecans, strawberries, and kiwi on hand. I remember thinking how yummy it would be to put those in the jello. I followed the directions for the jello and added the fruit and nuts to the liquid. Then I put it in the 'fridge and eagerly anticipated how wonderful it would taste. In a couple of hours I checked on it, assuming that it was either ready or nearly so. I was rather puzzled that it didn't seemed much more "jelled" than when I first put it in. I figured it just needed more time and let it set for a couple of hours longer. When I checked on it again, it still had not set. What in the world was the matter with the stuff?!? I decided that somehow I must have put in too much water so I combined some unflavored gelatin with hot water, added it to the mixture, and put it back in the fridge. This time I waited overnight. Surely that would be long enough! I checked on it the next morning. Nope! Still not jelled! I decided something was drastically wrong and the stuff was never going to set, so I ate the fruit and nuts and poured the liquid down the drain. The fruit was delicious, by the way. They were kinda marinated in jello :) It was a couple of weeks later when I found out that there is some kind of acid or something in kiwi that prevents jello from jelling like it should. Go figure!

This last week, I decided that I would make individual jello molds for the girls to celebrate Miss Muffet's birthday. We were having her party a couple of days later, and I knew we would not eat 1 cake, let alone 2. I figured I would stick a couple of candles in Miss Muffet's jello and she could blow them out after we sang to her. Of course, it was late evening when I had this brilliant idea and the kids needed to go to bed in a couple of hours. What to do? I made the jello according to directions but decided to put it in the freezer to help speed up the jelling process. OF COURSE, things got busy, and I forgot all about the jello cakes. The next day I remembered them... and they were frozen solid. I stuck them in the fridge to thaw. They did thaw, but formerly-frozen-and-now-thawed jello is NOT the same as regular jello! It has plain water floating around in addition to the jello. The mold did not come out smoothly like they were supposed to, and the whole thing was a disaster.

The moral to this story? Next time, I think I'll follow jello directions WITHOUT any creativity!!!! Image