Category Archives: Food

Jello Salad is an Oxymoron

Screenshot of Jello Book adI cook nearly every day, so I regularly browse recipes online, looking for inspiration to change up our menu. Since I also like “Free”, I’m in a Facebook group where people post links to free Kindle books. Today, those two interests combined with a free kindle Jello cookbook. I’m surprised anyone eats Jello on purpose, and more so that someone thought there was a demand for a Jello cookbook. But, there it is.

The title, “Jello Salads 250: Enjoy 250 days with amazing jello salad recipes…” is pretty ambitious. Could anyone possibly enjoy 250 days of nonstop jello salad? Are there any jello salads that anyone would, with a straight face, call “amazing?” Then there’s the sales pitch: “If you’re living a sedentary or inactive lifestyle, this book might INSPIRE you to eat more Jello Salad Recipes!” Talk about target marketing. This book is for sedentary/inactive people who need inspiration to eat more Jello. Can’t get more niche than that.

I remember Jello salads. Mom especially loved putting cottage cheese and pineapple in jello, which IMO (and the opinions of everyone else around the table), looked like it had already been eaten once, and then remolded when the unfortunate diner couldn’t keep it down. She also loved a spam/jello monstrosity, and one fateful meal included tomato aspic. The memory still makes me gag.

My first after-school job was waitressing at a Walgreens Grill where we served a bunch of jello. At the end of the week, any Jello still hanging around was nearing the rubber level of a Knox Blox (remember those?) and got dumped into a tub, mixed with the leftover strawberry pie, both the crust and filling, spooned into a parfait glass and finished off with that fake restaurant whipped topping that doesn’t melt. People LOVED it for some very strange reason I still don’t understand. We always sold out.

Just like drivers who slow down to rubberneck a gnarly accident, I did end up downloading the book. Free is free. Flipping through the recipes left me shocked, horrified, and surprised that someone could come up with 250 variations of things to entomb in jello. If anybody actually pays real money for this book, I will truly be amazed.

NOTE: This blog is being updated to a new domain. When you return (if you return), the new domain is Hope to see you there.

Great news for stoners

Stoners, rejoice! You can now order your munchies online, and have them delivered in 2 hours. You don’t have to rely on pizza, or restaurants to deliver. Get REAL munchies with Amazon Prime Now.

Prime Now

Many moons ago, the only thing we could get delivered was pizza. Then Chinese restaurants joined in. Eventually, lots of places starting delivering food, but nothing really hit the spot when you were too wrecked to leave the house. Now, thanks to capitalism, stoners in Colorado can get everything they could ever crave. Funyuns, double-stuffed oreos, twizzlers, chili cheese Fritos, and chocolate milk. Ordered online, delivered right to your door. How awesome is that?

My weed-filled nights are ancient history, so I don’t need this service. For ages, we sat around and talked about how great it would be to get munchies delivered. We even dreamed up a service called, “Eight Items or Less.” With this service, the delivery person would pick up anything, up to eight items, and bring them to you for one flat fee. Why a limit of eight? I couldn’t say. The brain cell that held that knowledge has long since bit the dust. I’d like to think that someone from Amazon was sitting around the coffee table as we played quarters and discussed the pressing news of the day. If so, a small royalty would be in order. But, like most things when the bud is being passed, it’s all good.


Aunt Sally’s Original Creole Praline

I’m convinced that The South is responsible for at least 50% of the annual sugar consumption, world wide. I base this on my own experience while vacationing in South Carolina and Georgia several years ago. (They also have the corner on hog fat, but that’s another subject.)

When I was in The South, everything that could be sugared, was. Anything that gets a “skosh” of sugar anywhere else in the US, would get a barrel full there. Case in point: Iced Tea. Great iced tea is brewed with fresh tea, to a clear amber. Great iced tea doesn’t need sugar. Good tea can be enhanced with a small amount.

Southern Sweet Tea recipes recommend using anywhere from 3/4 cup to 1-1/2 cups of sugar per pitcher. Most recipes recommend you make Simple Syrup so you don’t have any grittiness from the sugar. Use even amounts of sugar and water. Bring to a boil and immediately, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then add to the pitcher of tea.

Where am I going with this? Oh yeah, pralines.

Pralines are a very Southern treat. My daughter went to New Orleans with her boyfriend for the holidays, and returned with a box of Aunt Sally’s Original Creole Pralines. They bill themselves as “New Orleans Most Famous Praline.” Since I’ve never heard of them, I guess they’re famous mainly in New Orleans.

Because I’m game for unusual foods, daughter gave me one to try.


The first mistake I made was to read the Nutrition Facts. Candy should not have Nutrition Facts. If you’re concerned about nutrition, you shouldn’t eat candy. I looked anyway. One serving has 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 29 grams of Carbs (28 of those from sugar, what a surprise). On the plus side, they provide 2% of my daily requirement of Vitamin A and Calcium.

Ingredients include Sugar, Corn Syrup, and High Fructose Corn Syrup. Oh, and some pecans, evaporated milk, vanilla flavoring, and both margarine and butter.

I broke off a small piece and gave it a try. It was a strongly vanilla-flavored grainy sugar mass that dissolved quickly, leaving a greasy residue on the tongue with a piece of soft pecan. Not really bad, but definitely an acquired taste.

If you’re adventurous, check out Aunt Sally’s. They have all kinds of Louisiana foods that will satisfy any carb craving.

I think I’ll keep the rest of this praline on hand in case I ever have a hypoglycemic attack and need something to raise my blood glucose fast.

The only edible fruitcake in the world

A lot of people contacted me about The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project. Most agreed with my position that fruitcake is a dangerous hazard to life, health, and the environment. The ones who disagreed told me in no uncertain terms that I didn’t know what I was talking about, fruitcake is wonderful, and I should stop this nonsense. Some even intimated that the only reason I didn’t like it was because I had never tried a “good” one. I scoffed at them, because clearly those were all prank emails. That was, until I heard from @TheGourmetGirl on Twitter.

@TheGourmetGirl’s real name is Elaine, and she has a website: Gourmet Girl Magazine, which is filled with all kinds of recipes, food reviews, and other wonderful food-related stuff. She asked me if I had ever tried Caribbean Black Cake. Since the answer was “no,” I checked out the recipe on her site. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Here’s what I found:
The recipe calls for dried fruit like figs, dates, apricots, cherries, and peaches – not those neon mystery bits
It uses an entire bottle of both Frangelico and Amaretto

I told her that I thought it might be the only edible fruitcake I’ve ever encountered. She offered to send me one, and I anxiously accepted her offer.

The package arrived yesterday. Per her advice, I opened it in a well-ventilated room. Very good advice. With the high alcohol content, I was surprised to find it wasn’t confiscated at the post office.

The box, before opening, smelled divine with all kinds of almondy alcohol goodness. I carefully unpackaged it from its bubble wrap, foil and plastic wrap, and the full aroma hit me. This was not my grandmother’s fruitcake.

Husband and I just looked at it for a moment. Then I challenged him to take a bite. Ever the skeptic, he wouldn’t, until I tried it first. I did, and it was wonderful.

My observations:
This is a very moist cake. Probably because it’s absolutely embalmed in alcohol. That’s a good thing.
The fruit is not only edible, it tastes like real fruit.
Each bite is an explosion of goodness in my mouth.
It doesn’t taste like “fruitcake” at all. Calling it fruitcake is an insult.

I decided that this cake would make an excellent breakfast food for New Year’s Day. I was right – you can’t eat this in the morning if you want to get any real work done. I started with a small piece. Then a bigger one. Then another, with whipped cream on top. By now, I’ve eaten more than half of the small cake, and I’m definitely tipsy. The rest will have to wait for tonight. It will be a long wait.

So there you have it. There is a cake, with fruit in it, that is not only edible, but absolutely wonderful. Just don’t call it fruitcake.

The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project

DENVER (Dec. 9, 2008) The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project is asking concerned citizens to think about recycling their fruitcakes this holiday season.

Many recyclers tend to think of gift catalogues, greeting cards and non-foil gift wrap when recycling during the holidays. Champagne bottles, popcorn tins and cardboard boxes all show up in recycling bins between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Recycling fruitcakes will take this environmental action one step further.

When recycling your Christmas trees, and wreaths, you may be tempted to add your fruitcake to the wood chipper. Because the half-life of a well-aged fruitcake is at least 50 years, The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project recommends that instead, you join the new fruitcake movement: Regift, Reuse, Recycle.

Regifting of fruitcakes actually started in 1913, when the first fruitcakes were sent via mail order. With nearly every household receiving a fruitcake via mail, in addition to the home-baked ones being circulated, the cycle was started.

Reusing fruitcake can be as simple as repurposing this year’s gift as a doorstop, or using one in a variety of craft projects.

Consumers who are unable to regift or reuse their fruitcakes are encouraged to send them to The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project, where they are busily working on solutions to the problem of Fruitcake Proliferation. For more information, go to Their motto: Together, we can make a difference, one fruitcake at a time.

About The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project:
The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project was established in 2005 with the goal of educating the public on both the versatility, and environmental impact of fruitcake. Their website contains fruitcake facts, helpful uses for fruitcake, a forum for the community to share its concerns about fruitcake proliferation, Fruitcake Cards, and Fruitcake games. Its owner and webmaster is clearly a woman with too much time on her hands.

Read more on The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project website.