Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Jiggly Remembrance


I was preparing a package of Jell-O (TM) this morning, and it reminded me, as preparing it always does, of a tale from my childhood.

Both Mama and Daddy were gainfully employed, and after my brother, the baby, became old enough not to require a hired babysitter, I, as the eldest, was the chief sibling-looker-after. During the summer school breaks, this meant that I had a full time job, from the time our parents left home in the morning until their return in the evening. As you might expect, the four of us got into a lot of mischief, several episodes of which involved Jell-O.

Mama kept a modest supply of Jell-O on hand, five or six boxes, stored in the kitchen cupboard. We children loved Jell-O, and could hardly wait for her to fix it for our dessert, which usually occured on a weekend, as Jell-O takes several hours to go from liquid to the jelled state. Although I had watched the process many times, Mama didn't think I was old enough to mess around with a saucepan of boiling water when she was not there to supervise so, although I did prepare the food we ate during the day, I was not allowed to make Jell-O.

Hmmm... The boxes of Jell-O were just sitting there, enticing us with the sweet-tart taste we knew was lurking behind the cardboard box and waxed paper inner container.

While we didn't dare open the box (a missing box would have been too easily discovered) I learned that if I took the ice-pick and drilled a small hole at one of the back corners of the box, through the cardboard and into the waxed paper, the dry granules would easily pour from the hole into our waiting (and no doubt grubby) open hands. Yum! Granulated Jell-O tasted even better than the prepared stuff.

The now empty box could be returned to the shelf, pristine in appearance except for a tiny, almost invisible, hole on the back side.

The Jell-O raiding parties continued sporadically until Mama decided to make a batch of Jell-O for a Sunday dessert and found all the boxes empty. I can't remember what punishment she meted, but whatever it was, I somehow had no further desire to raid the Jell-O stash.


I still like "dry" Jell-O, though.

20 comments:

jinksy said...

Great tale of ingenious smuggling - could you not have blamed the mice?!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Genius! I LOVE IT! Jello granules are indeed yummy! Funny! Loved it!

presious said...

That is hilarious! As kids we do such silly stuff not thinking eventually our parents would notice!...lol!

...empty box back on the shelf?...LOL!!

MindyLew said...

Loved your story from your past - It is nice to know that even through the generations children really have not changed that much. I remember trying to be sneaky and no matter what we always got found.
LOL :}

afeatheradrift said...

Oh Pat, what a great story. I love the ingenuity. I bet your mother was puzzled for a while before she discovered how you did it. LOL...Jello is a kid food if there ever was one. But still, every once in a while, I get a yen for lime!

Arkansas Patti said...

Now aren't you just too clever. Like jinkey, I'd have blamed mice. Very cute post. Isn't it great how as children we feel our parents are not as smart as we are?
Think I missed something in my child hood. Peter, from New Zealand, told me a similar story only he called them
"jelly lumps" over there. Evidently this was a world wide addiction I missed out on.

Snap said...

Great story, Pat! Kids have the greatest adventures! I still like jello.

Hilary said...

Great post. Somehow I saw my own childhood kitchen, cupboards and counter as you told this story. You brought me back in time with your words and mood.. thanks for that. :)

Snowbrush said...

Let me guess, yours is a prison blog. No one could start out that BAD and then go good.

Dr.John said...

You had to know that someday you would get caught.
I never tried jello that way.

NitWit1 said...

We had tons of Jello, gelatin, puddings, instant. I often thought rthere were no other desserts in grocery store. My husband and I only eat Jello when it is all the hospital will serve after surgery. We were burnt out on Jello during our childhood. I remember the fad of eating granular.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a priceless story. I'm surprised there was never a telltale trace of granules on the floor.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I thought I had read about that in the newspaper, Pat. The headline was Jello Thief.... I think they mentioned your name and said that the jury put you in jail for along time. (Har Har)

From now on, I'm going to think of you as Pat, the Jello Thief!!!! How 'bout that??????????

Cute story---I'll bet we all have similar stories from childhood.

Hugs,
Betsy

Jeannelle said...

Oh, what a funny memory, Pat, and, your telling of it is great! Thanks for the chuckles!

Anna said...

Eating Jello with a spoon, from the box, was the thing to do for about a month when I was in elementary school. As I recall, we believed it would help us run faster, jump higher. Kid steroids.

Rose said...

Oh, this makes me smile.

I have never been a big fan of jello, at least not in the prepared state. However, every now and then, I used to could talk my mom into letting me have a box of the powder to eat!

I probably still prefer it that way!

TSannie said...

That was a wonderful tale, Pat. Brought a smile to me. Thank you!

Joan said...

So funny! I bet it tasted just like the pixie sticks. (I think that's what they are called.)

nanny said...

That is a good one! We use to mix dry pkg of kool aid and sugar and just eat it.....sour but good!

Peter said...

Wonderful memories. I'm the one that told Arkansas Patti about Jelly Lumps. I used to secretly quarry them from the "wrong" end of the box of jelly in mum's pantry and try to seal up the box again to make it look undisturbed. The lumps made up into jelly, much like your crystals make up into Jello. Jelly lumps were what I had as a child in England, but I discovered, to my dismay, that one of the penalties of emigrating to New Zealand was that Jelly lumps are unknown here. In stead we have jelly crystals. I guess they could be yummy too, but I miss the rubbery concentrated sweetness of the jelly lump!

As a child, my mining and quarrying of food did not stop with jelly, I also tried a similar technique to yours with Edam Cheese and loaves of fresh bread. It is amazing what you can pull out of a loaf of bread through a small hole in the crust!
Nice to have found your blog. What fun!
Peter.