Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Jell-O Spiral

Scene:  6:10am, standing in front of bathroom mirror

Me:  [thinking] "Mmm, I want Jell-O.  Like, any kind of Jell-O, except for regular Jell-O or that crappy sugar-free Jell-O.  I want fancy Jell-O."

[applies moisturizer and leave-in conditioner]

Me:  [thinking] "You know, if I skip drying my hair and putting on make-up, I can start boiling water sooner and then the Jell-O will set sooner because I made it sooner."

Scene:  6:15am, kitchen

Me:  [thinking] "Alright, water boiling!"

Scene:  6:16am, kitchen

Me:  [thinking] "I should probably make some breakfast.  Because it'd be pretty lame for me to come in here and boil a bunch of water so I can make Jell-O, but not have anything to feed my kids when they wake up.  'Oh, sorry family...I just got up to make Jell-O.'  Yeah, that'd be pretty bad."

"I think I'll make oatmeal.  Geez, I wish I could just have Jell-O instead.  I should decide on what flavor of Jell-O to make...whoa, we have a lot of Jell-O up here in the baking cupboard, sitting next to the spices.  That reminds me, I should add some extra stuff to the oatmeal to make it better...like cinnamon and cardamom and nutmeg and butter and brown sugar ...and raisins."

[Adds various ingredients to oatmeal]

Me:  [thinking]  "Alright, Jell-O...hmmm, what flavor should I make?  I'm feeling kind of lazy, so I think I'll just make some Creamsicle Jell-O with that leftover Cool Whip from the last batch of Creamsicle Jell-O that I made last week because the kids were not the biggest fans of that fruit salad tossed with Cool Whip yesterday.  Yes, let's use up the Cool Whip.  Now, what flavor?  Let's do peach because there are two boxes of it and I don't really like it but I'm sure it will be tons better with Cool Whip.  Why does Bluebird have to choose peach all the time?  It reminds me of those sips of wine cooler that my parents used to give me at parties.  Yech."

[mind continues along path of "Ways My Life Has Changed Since I Became a Mormon"]

[I make up a pan of Creamsicle Jell-O and put it in the fridge to set]

Me:  [thinking]  "That Jell-O is going to take hours to set!  I want something sweet right now!  I could bake something!  Yes!  Let's take a look through the baking cupboard and see what's in there and I'll make something using up whatever I have the most of."

[Spends an hour unearthing many forgotten foodstuffs from baking cupboard, including a six-year-old jar of Marshmallow Fluff and a bag of turbinado sugar that I knew I had purchased, but then could never find.]

"Chocolate chip cookies it is!  With coconut flakes!"

[thinking] "Hmm, I've got a lot of chocolate chips going on here.  I think it would be wise to make a double batch and try to use up the older chocolate chips."

[Mixes up a double batch of chocolate chip cookies and begins the drawn-out process of "cookie sheet rotation baking" for eight dozen cookies]

Me:  [thinking]  "Hmm, now we'll have Jell-O and a ton of cookies.  Seems sort of ridiculous to have all those dessert-ish foods and no dinner to eat with it.  I'm already in the kitchen, why not fire up the ol' Crock Pot?  Yes, I think I'll do that too."

[Assembles food items in Crock Pot and sets it a-cookin']

Me:  [thinking]  "I can't believe that recipe uses up an entire bottle of ketchup!  I really should have bottles of ketchup in my food storage.  We go through a lot of it, especially if a 'food storage Crock Pot recipe' uses an entire bottle in one go!  Hmm, speaking of which, our food storage is looking mighty low these days."

[Spends another hour rummaging through the pantry and cupboards, trying to "get a feel" for where our food storage weaknesses lie, which then gives launch to a whole new train-of-thought that brainstorms a massive amount of ideas of more ways we could be more self-sufficient, like drying herbs and starting a barter system for music lessons in our neighborhood and whether or not we could survive by candlelight.]

[Junebug vomits oatmeal all over her bedroom and the dining room.  I spend half an hour cleaning it up while listening to her continue to retch into the toilet.]

Me:  [thinking]  "Ew, no more oatmeal for a while."

Me:  [thinking] "Hmm, I think the Jell-O might be set by now.  Oooh, it is!"

[Inhales large helping of Creamsicle Jell-O]

Me:  [thinking]  "Mmmm."

So, if you're ever observing a Mormon Homemaker and wondering why she rarely does her hair and rarely wears make-up and always seems to have the Crock Pot going, is generally in possession of a couple dozen freshly-baked cookies and possesses an enviable storage of food (with a disproportionate amount of rolled oats for the size of her family), know that it was the Jell-O that made her do it.

It's powerful stuff--prepare it with caution.


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