An instructional pamphlet in my hands, I looked over with dismay at the containers filled with all varieties of red Jell-O that sat on my kitchen countertop. There were red Jell-O jigglers cut into perfect 2 bite squares. There were small red ramekins filled with red Jell-O. And, there were larger cereal bowls of red Jell-O, just in case.
Looking back at the pamphlet I hoped that somehow the words on it had changed, but no, they were still there. Under the “Recommended Fluid for Hydration” section the words were in parenthesis, but clear enough to not be mistaken by anyone who read them, “(clear fluids – nothing red or purple)”. The problem was I hadn’t read them.
I was preparing my mom’s non-food for a day long fast before a colonoscopy. For those of you who have never had one, this isn’t fun, but it’s somehow even less fun if you are a foodie. Non foodies don’t really stress too much about going for a day without food, just clear liquids and Jell-O. Foodies, on the other hand, do stress about that day long fast. My mom is a foodie, so I was trying to make sure there was enough Jell-O, broth, 7-Up, apple juice, etc. to take her through the day.
The thing was, I had actually read the rest of the list, but for some reason the whole red, purple Jell-O part of the instructions escaped me. When I read the list and saw she could have Jell-O my mind immediately went to her stockpile of red Jell-O boxes that just seemed to be waiting for the opportunity to be used.
And use them I did. Without a care in the world there I was mixing hot water with the contents of those boxes in Pyrex bowls, concocting some crazy red stuff in the process. - I don’t know why making Jell-O produces the mad scientist in me, but it does. I always feel like I should have beakers and test tubes along with the gelatin based sweet liquid that turns into a solid. Go figure!
Now, I was faced with the product of my overzealous desire to make enough Jell-O for my mom and use the red Jell-O she collects too. A win-win, or so I thought. The problem was compounded by the fact that I actually didn’t have enough time to make more Jell-O for her. My own schedule was way too tight, this coupled with the fact that it takes at least 3 – 4 hours for Jell-O to set – which would be far past the time my mom would want to eat it – made the idea of making more, correctly colored Jell-O, not even close to being feasible.
Putting down the pamphlet, I sighed before I carefully put the red Jell-O horde into the refrigerator then headed out to the store to buy premade Jell-O in hues of yellow, orange and green.
As I walked out the door, my son was just coming in from a run. “There’s red Jell-O in the fridge,” I told him. “Eat all you want.”
“Really?” he replied, an instant smile on his face. “I love red Jell-O.”