Monday, January 14, 2008

If Only He Were Here: Freud Would Love Me

Yesterday, I made Jell-O for the first time. Ever! Raspberry Jell-O. Because I cleaned out the cupboards and the expiration date was June 2007. Oh! Better use that up! (And did I buy Jell-O?)

When I told the children there was Jell-O for dessert, they actually stampeded and radiated sunbeams. They bolted from the table to the fridge to start scooping out that magic. They thanked me for the bounty, for my generosity and vision. They embraced.

Wow. I wasn't quite sure how to interpret this but John did.

"Guess there's a little bit of white trash in everyone."

Good call.

You should know that I am one foot out of the trailer park. Welfare, food stamps, low-income housing and an incarcerated father were my low-brow credentials as a child. Just where do you think that book material came from?

Perhaps you can give the girl an education but you can't take her children out of the trailer park? And yes, I am deploying Stereotype. You're allowed to when you've lived through them. Moreover, I am slamming Jell-O. Is the matron a bit of a daredevil today?

Oh, and guess what! Despite (or because of?) one's roots, it is possible to make Jell-O incorrectly and ruin it, and your children will point this out, shattered, once they take a hard look at the texture (let alone taste the runny stuff). Maybe that expiration date meant something?

17 comments:

Cha Cha said...

But ... you live in the Midwest - surely Jell-o is an inherent part of your cultural heritage! Give it another try. Try the ice cube method if you can't get it to set the other way. And throw a dollop of Cool Whip on it if you really want to blow the kids' minds.

Yes, I did just use the term "dollop." And if loving Jell-o is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Minnesota Matron said...

Dollop and Jell-O? I'm impressed, yes: intellectual acumen from a Jell-O fan. And of course, you are absolutely right: any good Minnesota potluck has its Jell-O! Caught! :-)

Maddy said...

Well I have the advantage on you for this one. Rename the jello to jelly and then all the little foreigners can't criticise me. [newbie visiting from Jocelyn]
Cheers

Type (little) a said...

There's always room for Jello, white trash or no. It's not like the course before was Hot Pockets...

Minnesota Matron said...

I am, it seems, an outcast in my dislike for the stuff . . . ah well.

Mrs. G. said...

I've been close enough to the trailor park to like Jello AND Funions.

Keep working on that book!

Tracy said...

I do love Jell-o... especially when I'm on Weight Watchers (which I am now, of course... being January and all...) -- it's a very filling snack and the sugar-free is basically "free" points.

I remember when I was little my mom used to put it in a square cake pan and then cut it into squares or shapes when it set... finger food!

I never really thought of Jell-o itself as being white-trash-y... Although I guess when you start molding it and presenting it at dinner parties, it could take on that perception...!

Minnesota Matron said...

Funions: yum! Makes me nostalgic for those brown deep friend onions in a can. I LOVED those and Bacon Bits. Dooce has an hysterical bacon video from YouTube, a few days back.

sh8un said...

Next time replace gin or vodka for half of the water in the recipe, send the kids to bed early (or a neighbor's), and Jell-O never tastes better.

Melanie said...

The potlucks in my neck of the woods often yield all sorts of Jell-O salads, salads with fruit, carrots, nuts, mayonnaise, raisins, CHICKEN.

I'm shivering right now, as I type this.

(I could tell you had a novel or two in you, by the way.)

JCK said...

Your childhood sounds intriguing for a book. I'm just assuming that you are writing one. It is amazing how kids light up over simple things - like Jello.

Loved your comment on my blog about my job quest/balance life, etc. It was very inspiring. Thank you. And it's been great to find your blog!

Cheri said...

Okay Minnesota Matron and Mrs. G, did you ever squish Wonder Bread into doughballs? How about eat fried bologna sandwiches? Drink Tang? Powdered milk? I am neither proud, nor ashamed. It's simply what was for dinner when I was a kid. Oh, and Spam. *sigh*

Seriously great post. I'm a first-time visitor. I will be back. While I reside in California, I have four good friends, and one of my daughter's has a boyfriend, from Minnesota -- so I know it has good people, and writers.

Beth said...

My dessert making attempts have petered out over the years - and there is a definite plus to this. When I do make one, the appreciation is enormous.
And jello counts!

Melissa said...

Oh dear, jello isn't trashy, not if you live among the midwesterners who refer to it in church cookbooks everywhere as "salad." heh.

Minnesota Matron said...

Okay -- I have some new blogs to visit. Thanks for all the comments and kind words. And Cheri, I appreciate that sensibility. My favorite meal as a teen? Oscar Meyer summer sausage on wonder bread, with mayo, flattened. One can add nacho cheese doritos fro crunch. And yes, in Minnesota Jell-O is salad. With cream.

Cheri said...

I totally forgot about Oscar Meyer Summer Sausage! It rocked. Back then, of course.

Cheri said...

I woke up this morning with a startling realization. Those sandwiches we flattened? These days we'd say "Panini." We totally could have gone on Food Network and we didn't even know it.