I don’t know WHAT possessed me to spend every moment of a perfectly beautiful Saturday making Jell-O. Mixing Jell-O, pouring Jell-O, waiting for Jell-O to set, repeat ad nauseam. I saw these a while ago and thought they were the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen and decided I needed to make them. I have a thing with rainbows. I’m not particularly a “rainbowy” sort of person, given that rainbows seem cheerful and perky and outgoing, what with their flashy colourfulness and whatnot, but I admire their constitution. Every colour has its place, neat and tidy, in an order that never, ever falters. You’ve got to respect that kind of militant organization.
So I bought the ingredients – six colours/flavours of Jell-O, one can of sweetened, condensed milk, whipped cream, and rainbow sprinkles (although, as a rule, I keep rainbow sprinkles on hand at all time, I bought more, just in case) – and those ingredients lived in my cupboards for weeks. And then I decided to do something about it.
See, the thing about Jell-O is, I’ve never made it before. Sure, it’s supposedly the world’s easiest dessert, but I’d just never gotten around to making it. Oh, that’s a lie. There was that one time in college where I was having a girl’s night in with a friend and decided to make Jell-O shooters. But I forgot the plastic shot glasses and just made a giant bowl full of spiked Jell-O that we slurped with a spoon. And I put way too much vodka in it, so it was barely slurpable. Oh, we choked it down, one or both of us was dealing with a break-up, I think, but not without that scrunched up, pained face you make when a much-too-strong drink smacks you right in the mouth. So, I supposed the thing about Jell-O is, I’ve never made it successfully before.
Everything would have worked out fine if I’d done two things differently – 1) read the directions correctly the first time, and 2) chosen larger vessels in which to hold my rainbow Jell-O. The blue didn’t set. Even after waiting for over an hour, it was still blue Kool-Aid. So I just went ahead and poured the next layer over top in an act of rage-fueled defiance. Also, if the cups had been bigger, I could have done a layer of white between each colour, instead of realizing my mistake after I’d already set the first layer and having to reassess my plan of attack. So I did (or, if it had turned out, I would have done): purple (grape), blue (blue raspberry), green (lime-condensed milk-hybrid), yellow (lemon-condensed milk-hybrid), orange (orange), red (strawberry/banana). Two translucent, two opaque, two translucent. Not the pattern I was hoping, but by hour four of this I didn’t really care anymore. I just wanted it done.
But because the blue layer didn’t set completely before I poured in the lime-condensed milk on top of it, I ended up with this weird, clouding effect. If it were pink, it would have looked just like the pink ooze in Ghostbusters II. Not exactly the perfect rainbow stripes I was hoping for.
I should have known better. I can bake well, not that mixing Jell-O powder with various states of H2O is baking, but nothing I do turns out perfect. It usually tastes delicious and after a few tries, it might begin to resemble something I’d consider presentable, but my first try is usually ugly. And this, my friends, is ugly Jell-O.
Ok, this doesn’t do it justice. It’s way uglier in person. And I did use the prettiest of the four cups. But still. Ugly. I’m her mother and I don’t even love her face.
Disappointing, yes, but not surprising. Whatever, I guess. What else was I going to do for the entirety of Saturday anyway? I did also do five loads of laundry, change the sheets, sort my kids toys, make two out of three meals for three out of four people in the house, shower myself and bathe the children, cut 40 nails, do six braids, and watch one of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. I also found time to peruse some baking blogs, Threadless, Etsy, take all my Words With Friends turns, pay my Mastercard bill, put the groceries away, make and consume a pot of tea, break up approximately 78 fights between the tiny people, and have a stomach ache (unrelated).
There won’t be a second attempt at rainbow Jell-O. Maybe if it had turned out perfectly. Maybe if it hadn’t taken more than 6 hours. Maybe if I even liked Jell-O (oh, had I not mentioned that?). Maybe then. But not with the sort-of stripey, but not really, cup full of evil ooze I ended up with.