IN MINNESOTA, WE have hotdish. Not casseroles.
We have lutefisk and lefse and food-on-a-stick.
And then we have Jell-O.
Truly, I thought Jell-O was a thing of the past, even in Minnesota.
But Kristin proved me wrong. She brought a pan of gelatin to Family Game Night at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday.
I’ve seen Jell-O made in bowls—even layered in bowls—and shaped into shapes in molds. I’ve seen Jell-O elevated to a plate of honor during a production of How to Talk Minnesotan at the Plymouth Playhouse. But I’ve never seen gelatin in a glass cake pan.
But Kristin, the theatrical type, proved that Minnesotans can get creative with their Jell-O by thinking outside the box inside the box (er, cake pan).
She even stirred peaches into her peach Jell-O and topped it with the ultimate in Jell-O toppings—marshmallows.
And then, sin of sins, she cut the thickened concoction into squares. Doesn’t she know that Minnesotans, or maybe it’s just Lutherans, prefer to dish up their Jell-O with a spoon? We are not the show-off type, you know, serving up fancy Jell-O squares.
But Kristin, as I suggested, fails to conform to conformity. She sometimes makes cranberry Jell-O and adds cranberries.
Did you know Jell-O comes in cranberry flavoring? I didn’t. I thought the flavors were strawberry, strawberry and strawberry.
Did you know, too, that you can actually ruin Jell-O? My friend confessed that she once did just that by adding too much water.
Oh, Kristin, Kristin, Kristin. Perhaps you should stick with the old standby Minnesota Jell-O recipe: Add sliced bananas to partially-thickened strawberry Jell-O.
If you want to get creative, top your bowl full (not pan full) of Jell-O with Cool Whip.
But for gosh sakes, Kristin, please serve your potluck Jell-O with a spoon, not some fancy serving utensil.
DO YOU HAVE ANY interesting stories to share about Jell-O? I’d love to hear yours. So submit a comment to Minnesota Prairie Roots, even if you are a conservative Minnesota Lutheran.
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling