an edible substance that comes in many flavors, and it giggles ~Urban Dictionary
J-E-L-L-O spells Jell-O, or so the jingle went. My mom used to make a lot of Jell-O for dessert for all us six kids. It was sweet and jiggly and we all scarfed it down. It was an easy and inexpensive way to satisfy our sweet teeth. Pudding did the trick, as well.
Fast forward a few decades, and Jell-O has never been on the menu at our house. It was only when I was in the hospital after surgery in 1985 that the first thing they let me eat was Jell-O. Boy, did it ever taste good! Oh my, when you haven’t had anything to eat in days, it was especially delicious and very much savored.
I don’t think I ever thought about Jell-O again until 2003 when Shannon and I flew up north so she could interview at her two selected college choices, Bard (NY) and Bates (Maine).
We flew into NYC, traveled up the Hudson River Valley to Bard, spent the night and then headed northeast to Lewiston, Maine where Bates College is located. After that, we drove down to Boston, left our rental car at the airport and checked into our hotel… which we discovered had no restaurant.
But there was a shuttle van that took you to three choice restaurants: Barbecue, Chinese or Italian. We picked Italian.
I have no recollection of the name of the place. It was crammed into a crowded street beneath an elevated train of some sort, not far from the hotel. We went in, and my initial impression was that this place was a throwback to another era. I wasn’t too far off base.
The hostess seated us at a very small table. I recall lots of red flocked wallpaper and upholstery. The menu featured old school dishes such as lasagna, pizza and scaloppini… comfort food for the masses. I had lasagna and some generic Chianti wine.
Then the waitress asked us about dessert. One of the items on the dessert menu was, you guessed it, JELL-O!!
I can’t think of any other restaurant in the world that would offer such an old fashioned dish, and I have to wonder how many people ever ordered it. I do know that cafeterias offer it (at least they used to; it’s been a long time since I have been to one).
By the way, we didn’t order any. But if I recall correctly, I think I did get some chocolate pudding (also not an item on avant garde restaurant menus!). I wonder if it was Jell-O pudding?
According to Wikipedia, “Gelatin, a protein produced from collagen extracted from the boiled bones, connective tissues, and intestines of animals, has been well-known and used for many years.”
Sounds icky! So who eats Jell-O anymore?
Well, as I mentioned above, patients in hospitals eat it after they’ve had surgery. It’s often the first “solid” food they are able to eat after a few days, and it really does taste good at that point.
So why am I bringing this subject up? Well, it’s because I had a colonoscopy this week, and had to adhere to a liquid diet the day before. But it was ok to eat Jell-O, and so, by golly, I bought myself a box. Lime flavor. I made it on Monday and nibbled on it on Tuesday when I felt a need to chew on something.
Wait. All of a sudden I’m recalling that there is such a thing as Jell-O shots. OH!! So maybe that’s why Jell-O is still a viable product!
Gee, colonoscopy prep would have been so much more fun if I could have had some of those!