Molly’s June post takes us to some Jello cookbooks. How can she not like Jello? These are always among the favorite in my collection – prunes aside! -AA
Two dear friends gave me a couple of cookbooks they bought at an estate sale recently. They found one and thought it was kind of fun. A little later, they found the sequel to the first one, and they knew they couldn’t leave either of them behind. They were pretty sure I’d like them. Were they right? Absolutely. How could anyone not love The Joys of Jell-O and The New Joys of Jell-O?
I don’t like Jell-O and never have, but these cookbooks are such a charming snapshot of popular culture from 1963 and 1973. And the first one includes “The Story of Jell-O . . . And Why It Grew.” Grew? Ew, but I read the story and loved it from the very first sentence: “Jell-O Gelatin first grandly shimmered its way into American dining rooms in 1897.” What a great image. I like almost anything that shimmers. Then there’s this sentence a little further along: “And it’s easy to fix all kinds of ways – some we’ll wager that have never entered your mind.” They’d win that bet, all right.
I only have two quibbles with these gems. One is that although there are wonderful photographs of some of the creations, and many that look as though they glow in the dark, there aren’t pictures of all of them. I might not like Jell-O, but I do like staring at pictures of it. Here’s one of my favorite. These kids are “enjoying” their Jell-O. They are? Really? My other quibble is that the second book does something I didn’t think possible; it ruins prune whip.
Amy thinks it’s the prunes that ruin prune whip. We’ve agreed to disagree about that (until I give her some in a blind taste test and she’s blown away by a spoonful of prune whip as it’s meant to be). But I’ll wager we give identical answers to this question: If there’s always room for Jell-O, is there room for Jellied Prune Whip?