The Dish

Saving Jell-O

I don’t know for certain if it is true, but it seems gelatin side dishes and desserts have lost their popularity.  Which is really a shame, because gelatin can be an easy casual dessert or be elevated to an amazing treat.  When I was growing up, my mom made plain Jell-O gelatin at least once a week.  Gelatin salads and desserts were always on a potluck table and neighbors were always swapping gelatin recipes. 

every decade has had it’s favorites…

in the 60’s we had clear and creamy “Under the Sea”:

the 70’s had the colorful and easy to make Poke Cakes:

Red and green layered poke cake.

and the 80’s were classic for the gelatin finger foods, Knox Blox and Jell-O Jigglers:

Red Gelatin Cubes

Sadly, it seemed to all end in the 90’s with Jell-O shots.  

there appears to be absolutely no enthusiasm for gelatin in the new Millennium 

Where ice cream has expanded to fill an entire row at the grocery store, gelatin is now only a couple shelves and a very small section in the baking aisle.

The only exception seems to be the craze for intricate gelatin art, which hearkens to the victorian gelatins of the late 1800’s and is so very beautiful… but requires special tools and surgical precision to create:

Intricate gelatin art flowers

 *Sigh*  As much as I want to learn this art form, I know it is not something I would make as an everyday dessert. 

But, even though it is not currently fashionable, I do still make gelatin desserts and side dishes… but with a very small twist.  I’m a big fan of crunch in my gelatin: lemon gelatin with shredded carrots, orange gelatin with sliced or diced celery, V-8 gelatin with both carrots and celery.  To me these are very delicious and deserve a comeback.

So, today I’m sharing a big favorite of mine… Strawberry Gelatin with Watermelon.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet and has that crunch that I crave.  I have made this as an everyday dessert and also taken a double batch of it to pool parties, where it has been a hit.  It’s good plain or all dressed up with whipped topping and strawberries.  Seriously.  This is good… and light for a dessert…because it is still true…

“There’s Always Room for Jell-O”

Today’s Recipe is:  Strawberry Gelatin with Watermelon

Strawberry Gelatin with Watermelon in a footed dessert dish.

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