Friday, February 15, 2013

Easy to please

 photo valentinejello2.jpg

My family is easy to please.  I started to search Pinterest for an idea for a Valentine treat to make them, but everything seemed too complicated.  My energy level has been way down since being sick all last week, so it didn't take much for a recipe to seem complicated. That's when it hit me -- layered jello.  All I have to do is boil water. Perfect!

My mom made layered jello for special occasions, like Easter, using a variety of flavors.  It was treated more like a side dish than a dessert, which I don't quite understand. I also don't understand my family's obsession with jello.  Seriously, they thought I was the best mom in the world last night when I served the jello. The kids come by it genetically. Marc has always joked that there are four basic food groups: red, orange, yellow, and green jello. 

And that's fine by me. Who needs complicated? I can ignore the artificial colors, sugar, and even the animal bones and hides, if it means I get to be a rockstar mom every once in a while.

I increased my rockstar status, by ditching my dinner plans too. Boiling water all week to make the jello really sapped my energy, so even though I had the meat already thawed and everything ready to go, I decided last minute to take the kids out to our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Marc was going to be out late and miss dinner. 

We're rockstars at the Chinese restaurant too. It's a tiny little place and the ladies always seem so excited to see us. Before we even get in the door they ask us how many (because for some reason we always seem to be missing a person or two or we bring an extra friend) and then they start confirming drink orders. Yes, confirming -- they already know lemonade, water, water, Pepsi . . . (we try not to hold it against them that they carry Pepsi products).

After stuffing ourselves silly with Chinese food, we went to the library to pick up one book we had on hold, but ended up leaving with a stack of books instead. It's so rare we actually go to the library to just browse, so it was kind of fun.

Soon Marc was home and we all enjoyed our Valentine jello.  So, no, we didn't have big Valentine's plans, but it was still perfect. Tonight I get to go out to eat a second night in a row, this time just with my favorite Valentine. After dinner, we're going to get all romantic and shop for a new refrigerator. I guess that's to be expected when you've been married for twenty years, right?

You might remember me saying the refrigerator died in December. By disconnecting the water supply we were able to squeeze a little more life out of it, but then last week it died again. So now it's time to finally say good-bye. I've been researching online, and I'm still not sure what we're going to get.  Any advice?

Did you have a nice Valentine's Day? Fun plans for the weekend?

My Mom's Layered Jello Recipe

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water, add a packet of jello, mix well. Add some ice until the jello mixture measures 2 cups. Pour 1 cup in a glass baking dish and refrigerate. Add 1/2 cup sour cream to remaining jello mixture, mix well.  When first poured layer is set (an hour or more), add the sour cream layer. Repeat with additional flavors. For our Valentine's jello, I used cranberry, cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. I try to start a couple days in advance.

Or you can find an alternate version at Pioneer Woman. Hers is a firmer, finger version -- mine is definitely not a finger version. And I've never finished mine in less than a couple of days; I let the layers set longer.


  1. You're a hoot! Chinese food and jello would be a big hit here too. The simpler the better, imho. I hope you had fun finding a new fridge. I think those are the real love stories- a husband and wife living out their vows and enjoying even the mundane together.

    We celebrated VDay the Sat before. I was pretty weary too. I managed to put frozen coconut shrimp in the oven and M grilled steaks. There were no sides. :) On VDay, one of ours had ballroom dance lessons, and I had to tutor. We just change the date of a holiday if it is inconvenient. Lol!

  2. I'm impressed. Layered Jello is so time consuming that I never make it, but I love it. For my gang, I made up a small batch of brownies and put one in each of our lunches & back packs for that day (although, Luke ended up eating his for breakfast). : )

  3. Luke would get along well with someone in our house -- and I'm not talking about me or the kids. Tell him his Sunday School teacher approves. ; )