Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rainbow Jell-o

I left you hangin’ with my last post. I should have said something like, “and the rest is history”. Since there is no fun in that, I’ll just tell the rest of the story.

…So this boy that my heart was in love with drove home with me for Thanksgiving weekend. It was the first time I remember not hating the 4-hour drive. What did I say? What did we talk about? I certainly don’t remember anymore, but I do remember getting kind of nervous as we pulled up to my parents’ house. My brain kept trying to tell the rest of me that this guy was just a friend and it was no big deal (apparently my brain didn’t get the memo that this was a very big deal).

I was sure that by the time we pulled in, my mom would have heard at least heard one of the message I’d left on the machine (we didn’t have cell phones back then so there was no way to get in touch as we traveled) and so coming through the door with a friend wasn’t going to be a total shock. (This is where I need to insert my mom’s side of the story because I think she’ll remember it how it really happened and not how my flooded-with-dopamine brain recalls it.)

My friend and I walked in the front door and I remember everyone running to us all excited and patting my friend on the back and welcoming us into the home and he into the family. We recounted the details of the past 24 hours and had my mom fill in the missing details from her end. After all that we settled into our weekend and the reality of what was happening.

We enjoyed a fabulous meal for Thanksgiving (complete with layered jell-o …got to get the recipe plug in here) and by the end of the weekend faced that music that we were so sickly sweet in LOVE with one another that we didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves. We returned to school and decided to play it off casual (we didn’t want our friends to abandon us because to a person NOT in throws of a new romance, there is nothing more annoying than two people who are). You could maybe then imagine everyone’s surprise, when 2 months later, Boy asked me to marry him and I said YES!

You’re now thinking…Rainbow Jell-O? That is the tie in? I know it’s a stretch but lets be honest…what ISN’T a stretch with me?!
J What can I say, it’s a memory, just like the one I’ve just shared, that is inalterably connected with our holiday feasts.

A few years after Boy and I got married the jell-o became my assignment for the meal. Much like my relationship with Boy, it’s a constant and every year I make some tweaks and adjustments to make it better. And like my relationship with Boy, It’s not too incredible difficult, just apply some patience and time and it usually turns out great.

My Cousin Mickelle had the best seat in the house for the Jell-o Mold photo op. 
I lifted this picture from her blog - stop by and say hi.

Rainbow Jell-O Mold

Yield: 1 bunt pan size jell-o mold

8 - 3 oz boxes of various jell-o flavors (NOT sugar free)
1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Boiling water

  1. Spray pan with cooking spray
  2. Boil water and pour 1 ¼ cup into a small bowl with 1 pkg. of gelatin (the color that will be your top layer). Stir until dissolved.
  3. Pour ¾ cup of the dissolved gelatin liquid into the pan and refrigerate until set BUT NOT FIRM. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes and will vary as the layers are built. You know when you are ready for the next layer when the gelatin sticks to your finger when lightly touched. If it doesn’t it’s ok, it just means that your next layer will not FUSE to the set layer and may slip when slicing for serving.
  4. 5-10 minutes before jell-o layer is set, refrigerate the remaining, dissolved gelatin until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites).
  5. Once the set layer is ready, gradually stir in 2-3 Tbsp. of sweetened condensed milk into the remaining dissolved jello to make the opaque layer. Carefully spoon or pour the opaque jell-o over the gelatin set in pan. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until gelatin is set but not firm (again gelatin should stick to finger when touched).
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the remaining layers. Once the opaque layer is in the fridge setting, boil the water for the next layer/color, dissolve the gelatin and set aside to cool so that when you pour it into the pan you don’t melt the set layer.
  7. Refrigerate the entire mold for 2 hours or until firm. Unmold and serve. Store leftover gelatin in refrigerator. 
  1. I used 2 boxes of 3 oz. jell-o for the middle layers of the mold so that the layers were thicker. To create the mold in this picture I used a total of 8 boxes of gelatin and my pan could NOT have held more.
  1. Dip mold in warm water for about 7-15 seconds. Gently pull gelatin from around edge with moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate; holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate.
Source: Family File/Kraft recipes (I got the idea to use sweetened condensed milk from the Jell-o Mold Mistress of Brooklyn)



Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Wow! So beautiful!!! My kids would love this (hubby, too!). And I loved your memories of your first Thanksgiving with your hubby :)

Unknown said...

I love this kind of jello! It's gorgeous. Yeah, patience with guys (and jello) is key. Love the story and the recipe. Merry Christmas.

Balvinder said...

This looks very beautiful.

Anonymous said...

That is absolutely stunning! LOVED the story, buzzed and bookmarked this one!

Daphne Elliot said...

I am so jealous. A jello mold in my cooking to do list. So 60's - I love it.

Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} said...

Such a beautiful story Gwen.
happy Holidays!

Chris said...

I'm totally making Gay Pride Jell-O next year. Thanks!

Apron Appeal said...

Chris! Why didn't I think of that?! Thanks for the idea.

John Adam said...

Where can I buy aprons for my house cleaning business?
The Egg Gathering Apron

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