Monday, March 28, 2011

Day Eighty-Eight: Everything's Better with Sugar-Free Jell-O

When I moved away from my parents' house, I stole a cookbook. No, it wasn't Mastering the Art of French Cooking or anything cool like that. It was Everything's Better with Sugar-Free Jell-O, which was an odd choice, since I've never really liked Jell-O, but I felt grown-up owning a cookbook. Also, the recipes were not just for gelatin--they had ones for pudding, too. And I love love love some good pudding.

So--that book was the inspiration for today's thing-I-don't-like. I chose to make a very simple, beginner's level Jell-O salad, with strawberry gelatin and peaches that had been soaking in syrup (I was going to use a fresh peach but it turned out to be in a sorry state, so I went for the canned stuff instead). I messed up the whole floating fruit thing (I suppose because I was impatient and dumped the fruit in too soon), but the dish was shallow enough for me to dig down to the fruit that lay waiting at the bottom and mix it with my gelatin.

You know, it's interesting--I rarely think of fruit as fibrous until it's paired with something incredibly smooth. There were bits of peach in this cup that seemed very tough in comparison with the Jell-O. Then there were others that were lovely and soft.

I think I'm going to have to try some more challenging fruit to really know if I can handle Jell-O salad. And I know, it's an antiquated dish and few people actually serve it any more, but there's a kitsch to it that I don't want to resist. I want to make silly-shaped Jell-O molds with chunks of things floating in them, maybe with Kool Whip on top. Boy, will I be hip then.

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