I have recently been inspired to attempt to recreate the joys of 1970s era jello desserts. I’m talking orange jello with mandarin oranges stirred in. Nothing remotely close to the ultra-advanced ribbon jello dessert of our youth because I am paying homage, not engaging in an act of hubris.
I worked with a wonderful woman, Mrs. Ruth Chock, who was the music teacher at the elementary school where I worked. Ruth was famous for her ribbon jello. Always even. Always perfect. The thing is, that Ruth was one of the most precise and exacting people I’ve ever met. A friend and I once got the keys to her room and as a practical joke, went in and changed a handful of the files in her filing cabinet around. She BUSTED us within a day! She was exacting, but also a really good sport.
Anyway, Ruth once told me that to get her ribbon jello perfect, she counted the number of spaces in on the metal rack of her refrigerator because she knew the precise spot was where her refrigerator was exactly level so that each layer of jello and cream came out EXACTLY even.
Ruth has since passed, but I will always remember her and her ribbon jello with fondness and gratitude.
Here’s to you, Ruth!
Addendum: So, the instructions on the box of orange jello indicate that putting canned pineapple, kiwis, or other fruit into the jello is fine. Fresh pineapple or kiwis, however, will prevent the jello from setting. What’s up with that? Anyone know?