Thursday, November 24, 2005

The misspent Jellos of my youth

Maybe it's a Midwestern WASP thing.

Growing up, Thanksgiving and Christmas always featured disgusting Jellos.

There was cabbage Jello. It was a citrus Jello mold, packed with strands of shredded cabbage. Put aside the taste -- which is about as nasty as you'd expect -- and imagine the texture. Slime and vegetable matter don't mix.

Worse was the shrimp Jello. I think it was supposed to imitate shrimp cocktail via Jello. I think the ingredients include cans of baby shrimp, tomato juice, and plain gelatin. It didn't taste much like shrimp, but more like brine Jello with a patina of tomato, complemented by the texture of an occasionaly tiny shrimp. Vile.

Less offensive was the cinnamon Jell-O. The dark red gelatin is mixed with cream cheese. The final product looks like raw steak.

Somewhere along the line, Grandma [CrimeNotes], may she rest in peace, probably clipped Jellos recipes from an issue of Ladies' Home Journal, and just rolled with it. Aunt [CrimeNotes] picked up the torch sometime in the '70s. We're left with a family tradition on my father's side that echos a scene in DeLillo's Underworld.

Today, it's 15 degrees and snowing, so the weather cancelled family travel plans. Dinner will be at my parents' house. My mom is not part of the [CrimeNotes] family Jello cartel. It will be a typical Thanksgiving dinner, but Jello-free.

Click through to get recipes for cabbage and shrimp Jellos. I'm linking to them so you know I'm not making this up, and not because I recommend them.


Flop said...

We had cranberry Jell-O with cottage cheese, crushsed pineapple and cream cheese. (Usually we use lime). Actually pretty good. Also, we had a locally raised turkey and potatoes from my uncle's backyard.

Shrimp Jell-O sounds misguided as all hell. I wonder if anyone has ever put herring in Jell-O?

Crunk Raconteur said...

Well, that's the first entry in our new feature, "Reasons it's good that they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Finland."

Herring Jell-o!

double entendre said...

I don't think it's a WASP thing but a white trash thing. All my cousins love that stuff.

CrimeNotes said...

I think double entendre and crunk raconteur should start a blog.

evil girl said...

but then there wouldn't be anyone left to read coleslawblog.

CrimeNotes said...

I don't know what you're talking about. Our readers number in the moderately plural, not including people googling Jodie Sweetin.