Sweet: How Jell-O ruined me for life

What’s a meal without dessert?

Photo (cc) by chotda

What’s a hot dog without mustard? Tea without lemon (or honey, or milk)? A table without chairs? A day without sunshine? Cake without ice cr- Okay, you get the idea.

My point is this: Jell-O* was my undoing, in the story of my constant craving for sweets.

Back through the mists of time, when I was a tiny girl living with my daddy, mummy and big brother, I was introduced to Jell-O.

My mom, who tended to create simple fare for us (as I talked about last year in my blog post, Food, Glorious Food!) did not have time or energy to be more creative. There were budget constraints as well. But somehow, she felt she just had to cap each meal with something sweet. And often that sweet thing was, yup, Jell-O.

For the uninitiated (where do you live, Antarctica?), Jell-O is a very sweet powder which you mix with boiling water to dissolve, and then add cold water; you then let it set in the refrigerator until very cold and solid. Well, jiggly solid.

You can buy it in a variety of flavours, mostly different fruits; it’s coloured accordingly… from cherry red to strawberry red to orange to lemon. Now there are many new varieties (watermelon! mango!), but back then, around 1950, there were just the basics. My favourite was any red colour. Yellow was okay; my least fave was “lime” green.

When my mom did have a bit of extra time, she’d get fancy with the Jell-O and add canned fruit! Wow! 😀 Thanks mom, for your well-meaning attempt at creativity, and your thoughtfulness in enriching the dessert with something that contained a few vitamins.

So here’s the thing. All this Jell-O produced three results:

  1. I never made or served it when I myself was a mom. (Okay, maybe once. Just for old time’s sake.)
  2. I never feel a meal is truly complete unless it’s punctuated with something sweet. I am talking about something… baked. 😦
  3. I can rarely shop in the “petites” section of a dress shop.


*Commonly misspelled as Jello… by those who don’t use Google or Wikipedia.

20 thoughts on “Sweet: How Jell-O ruined me for life

    1. Yes!! Funny, though, chocolate Jell-O never took off – if there was such a thing! I don’t recall it. I do remember chocolate soda pop, which (ahem) fizzled. 😀


    1. What about the ubiquitous Jell-O salads with mayonnaise and celery in lime, or those which had (horrors) both fruit and mini marshmallows?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I escaped a lot of that by living in New York. Southerners had lots of church dinners when I was growing up, and Jell-O salads were always there. Is there any Jell-O salad you like, Catherine? I presume lime with mayonnaise and celery is at the bottom of your list.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. We didn’t have dessert every night. So when I moved out on my own that was one of the first things I did–dessert after lunch and dinner! Chocolate after lunch and usually it’s fruit after dinner. Ice cream after dinner in the summer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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