What’s a meal without dessert?
What’s a hot dog without mustard? Tea without lemon (or honey, or milk)? A table without chairs? A day without sunshine? Cake without ice cr- Okay, you get the idea.
Back through the mists of time, when I was a tiny girl living with my daddy, mummy and big brother, I was introduced to Jell-O.
My mom, who tended to create simple fare for us (as I talked about last year in my blog post, Food, Glorious Food!) did not have time or energy to be more creative. There were budget constraints as well. But somehow, she felt she just had to cap each meal with something sweet. And often that sweet thing was, yup, Jell-O.
For the uninitiated (where do you live, Antarctica?), Jell-O is a very sweet powder which you mix with boiling water to dissolve, and then add cold water; you then let it set in the refrigerator until very cold and solid. Well, jiggly solid.
You can buy it in a variety of flavours, mostly different fruits; it’s coloured accordingly… from cherry red to strawberry red to orange to lemon. Now there are many new varieties (watermelon! mango!), but back then, around 1950, there were just the basics. My favourite was any red colour. Yellow was okay; my least fave was “lime” green.
When my mom did have a bit of extra time, she’d get fancy with the Jell-O and add canned fruit! Wow! 😀 Thanks mom, for your well-meaning attempt at creativity, and your thoughtfulness in enriching the dessert with something that contained a few vitamins.
So here’s the thing. All this Jell-O produced three results:
- I never made or served it when I myself was a mom. (Okay, maybe once. Just for old time’s sake.)
- I never feel a meal is truly complete unless it’s punctuated with something sweet. I am talking about something… baked. 😦
- I can rarely shop in the “petites” section of a dress shop.
*Commonly misspelled as Jello… by those who don’t use Google or Wikipedia.