Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Nemisis - Cherry Jello

One of our family's traditional foods at Thanksgiving is Cherry Jello....well, Black Cherry Jello with black cherries mixed in. For years my Mom has made it, but I have had my hand at it once or twice. However, it hasn't always been a cherry walk in the park....and I'm not alone in my struggle with the jello.

The way we make the jello is we take two cans of dark, pitted cherries and two packets of dark, cherry jello. You make the jello the normal way, but substitute the cold water with the juice from the cans of cherries. You put the jello in the fridge for a couple of hours to set, but you don't want to let it set all the way because you want to pour the fruit into the jello while it is still in a semi-liquid state. If all goes well, it turns out beautiful and smooth with even amounts of cherries and the family loves it.

However, here are the things that have gone wrong: 
  • My mom misread the cans one year and put cherries with pits into the jello. She then had to dig them all out after it set and pit the cherries then mix them back into the jello....That would not have been a pretty jello year. (Of course, I ask you, who cans cherries WITH the pits?)
  • I made jello one year for Thanksgiving, but ended up with vertigo and unable to drive on the morning of Thanksgiving, so I ended up with a big bowl of jello and no turkey and the rest of the family had no jello.
  • Multiple times has the jello been forgotten in the fridge and fully set before the cherries were mixed in. Not pretty jello years, but still good flavored.

And then there was this year....

For some reason, I blanked out on the kind of cherries that I was supposed to get and when I looked back through my messages from my Mom she had a picture of a can of tart cherries, which she uses for cherry pies.

Well, I got confused and ended up buying tart cherries. Turns out she was showing me the manufacturing label rather than the type of cherries. So, I made the jello with the tart cherries. As I was pouring the cherries into the setting jello, I realized thought that the cherries didn't look quite right and realized my error.  I struggled with whether I should just let it be and go with the tart cherry jello.

However, after much internal wrangling, I decided that I would head back to Walmart on the eve of Thanksgiving and get the right kind of cherries and jello and start over. As much as I wanted to bring the wrong jello, and hopefully get out of ever having to provide a dish for Thanksgiving again in the future, I decided that it would be better for me to suck it up and make the jello. It is one of my dad's favorite dishes at the meal and I didn't want to disappoint him.

1 comment:

Jay said...

very funny!!! You give a perfect picture of our Jello traditions!!!