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Note: The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections requires me to put a word of warning up whenever I write an entry that may offend, disgust, or drive folks to murders and suicide.  You’ve been warned.  Urspo.

Last night I spoiled sleep by foolishly bringing up the topic of Jello. Just before bed I heard a podcast on the history of the stuff.*  I thought it would be fun to make a Jello salad / desert just for the fun of it. Like the invidious apple for the goddess of Discord this caused a slightly heated argument about what goes into a proper Jello salad/desert, more particular what does NOT go into one.  In my youth Mother made a red Jello that had frozen strawberries (never fresh I recall) and chopped bananas. Someone was almost beside himself; bananas as an absolute no-no and grounds for divorce, but shredded carrots or mini-marshmallows are what’s right. Slightly miffed at the attack on my mother’s sacred Jello recipe I replied sooner I’d eat rats at Tewkesbury than eat shredded carrot or marshmallows. The arguments accelerated, ending in fisticuffs, complete with black eyes and bloody noses and a retreat to separate bedrooms.**

In my bizarre fancy to resurrect the dead that is Jello, I started surfing the net, looking for ‘interesting’ recipes. This too was foolish. I won’t mention some of more bizarre recipes, lest Spo-fans are eating dinner while reading this. Trust me, they are along the line of ‘what on earth were we thinking?” recipes, combining things that have no business being in the same bowl with each other, let along entombed in gelatin.  

Mother made a lot of Jello. These delicacies were divided into ‘simple dishes’ for the home and ‘fancy ones’ reserved for church pot-lucks and picnics. Mercifully I don’t remember the latter types only that they often involved fruit cocktail, cool-whip, and other Midwest delicacies I haven’t ate in decades.


I wonder what happened to all those Jello molds shaped as animals and such that everyone seemed to have back then.  Just before he hit me when I mentioned Emerald Salad*** Someone announced we actually have a Jello mold somewhere, which was news to me. That settles it. I must make me a Jello salad – if I can find a recipe we are both willing to eat and it can go safely down the disposal as I sense one or two bites will suffice and this stuff doesn’t keep. 

Anyone for Lime Jello marshmallow cottage-cheese surprise? I made heaps. 


*And what a fascinating topic it is! Jello started as a sort of fancy status symbol and evolved to a mainstay of Midwest cuisine, only to sink into camp and oblivion. 

**The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections asked me to expunge that last line as blatantly untrue, but I kept it, allowing myself one or two small equivocations for the sake of the story. Besides, we we both thinking of such. 

***OK I will stop now. 

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January 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018