Monday, September 6, 2010

Growing up, I was a very picky kid when it came to food- I still am to an extent. Thankfully, I can now list more than 2 fruits and vegetables that I am willing to eat on a regular basis that aren't served in juice form.

Perhaps one of my most perplexing and inexplicable food aversions is to Jello. Yes, Jello- everybody's favorite gelatinous dessert, first introduced to the world in 1845. Jello has always been considered one of the best mess-free, kid-friendly desserts out there, which is why I would frequently find it decorating tables at my friend's birthday parties and various family-related celebrations. I hated it's smell, it's fun jiggly nature and the fact that it contained absolutely nothing of substance. What it really boiled down to was that everything about Jello was synthetic. I've always believed that habitually digesting food pumped with chemicals will eventually lead to a third eye or a permanent full body rash.

One 4th of July, however, I was invited to a neighbor's party. Among the many delicious dishes prepared for the evening was a type of Jello I had never seen before. I was extremely hesitant to try it but the minute I took a bite, I was hooked; I experienced heaven in Jello form. Cold layers of berry goodness mixed in between thick layers of rich creaminess- it was like crack, I couldn't get enough of it. That night my mother nicked the recipe from our neighbor and ever since then we've been making that dish every 4th of July/Labor Day. 13+ years later, I still refuse to eat Jello- this recipe is the only exception.

On this particular Labor Day, in the true spirit of "sharing with one's neighbor", I've decided to pass on this recipe to you.

Enjoy...let me know if you grow any extra toes or foster a sudden Jello addiction.

Red, White & Blue Jello

7 pkg Knox Gelatin
14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 3oz boxes Blue Berry Jello
3 3oz boxes Red Raspberry Jello

Begin by dissolving 2 packages of the gelatin in a 1/2 cup of cold water. In a medium bowl, mix together the can of Condensed Milk with 1 cup of boiling water. Add in the gelatin mixture.

In a large bowl, combine 1 package of jello with 1 cup of boiling water. Dissolve 1 package of gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water. Add the gelatin to the jello mixture.

Pour the jello mixture into a 9 x 13" glass dish. Set it in a level space in a freezer to chill for 10-12 minutes or until firm.

Add 3/4 cups of the milk mixture over the top of the now solidified jello layer. Once again, let it rest in the freezer for 9-10 minutes.

Repeat process with another layer of Jello. Freeze this time only for 6 minutes. (Tip- Make the Jello layer that's going on top of the cream layer a little in advance so that it's not scalding. The cream will start to melt/flake if the Jello layer is too hot.)

By the end of this you should have 9 layers altogether. Make sure to end with the same flavor that you used on the bottom. To copy the picture above, the layers are as follows: Red, White, Blue, White, Red, White Blue, White, Red.

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