Monday, 12 August 2013

Tomato JELL-O


Heart of Darkness
It should come as no surprise that, when it comes to caker food, I can get with most things. Put some baked beans in a muffin and I’ll give it a taste. Turn mashed potatoes into mints and I’ll pop one in. I’m even up for meatloaf made with Special K. (But you won’t catch me going back for seconds.)

But one dish I can’t get with is any recipe calling for JELL-O and weird things. By “weird,” I mean food that has no business being in JELL-O, like pickles, olives and carrots. And there are LOTS of those recipes in my cookbooks, which leads me to wonder, “Were all the church ladies in the ‘70s on crack?”

You can’t run away from your caker demons forever, so I made this Tomato JELL-O the other day. It has orange JELL-O and stewed tomatoes. Yes, it was disgusting. The only way I could finish it was to run it under hot water and melt off all the orange JELL-O. And if you think water-logged tomatoes sound gross, they were way better than the other option.

Why, my caker people? For the love of god, why?

Tomato JELL-O
1 package (3 ounces) orange JELL-O
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper

Dissolve JELL-O in 1 cup boiling water. Add tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until firm.

Source: St. Luke’s United Church Cookbook


12 comments:

  1. Oh man, Brian, it looks dreadful. Can't image the combination of orange and tomato being a taste sensation. I do,however, really love tomato aspic which is lemon jello, tomato juice, green onions and those tiny little shrimp in a can. Delicious!!!

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    1. I made a tomato aspic once and I couldn't even post it. It tasted like a jellified Caesar. Only without the benefit of vodka.

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    2. Is that what Canadians call a Bloody Mary, a Caesar?
      Since I have made tomato aspic before (not quite sold on it), I thought that maybe a vodka version would be possible.

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    3. I always forget that Americans are denied the pleasure of a Caesar. It's like a Bloody Mary, only it's made with Clamato juice, instead of tomato juice. Do you have Clamato juice in the US? If not, I'm sending a crate your way so get the vodka ready.

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  2. Why in the world would anybody add vinegar to an acidic tomato and then add some jello. That's just wrong!

    I keep picturing a church lady standing in her kitchen thinking to herself ‘I don’t have a thing to take to the church supper tonight’. She frantically opens the pantry door and eyes the can of stewed tomatoes and a box of orange jello….suddenly the clouds part, the sun shines in. and the angels start singing a heavenly tune. Inspiration hits her like a bolt of lightening and all is well in church lady world. My only question is why did they let her put it in the church cookbook

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    1. The reason they let her put it in the church cookbook was because all the other church ladies were making variations of the same thing. Lime JELL-O with pickles. Lemon JELL-O with peas. I'm telling you - it was like some kind of gelatin cult.

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  3. To each his or her own. Jellies and blancmanges have an honorable history. Tomato aspic long precedes the existence of Jello. For recreations of wonderful 18th and 19 century jellies see

    http://foodhistorjottings.blogspot.com/

    Altho this recipe sounds gross, I had a wonderful dish at a church supper a couple of weeks ago: cherry and cranberry jello with finely minced celery and walnuts. And I have always hated red jello. It does go to show that we can change. Just have to wait for cranberry jello to come back into the stores to make it myself. And the classic lemon and orange with grated carrot and crushed pineapple does add to the Easter feast a certain touch that I can appreciate once a year - and adds some fresh color to a plate of mash and ham and asparagus...

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    1. Now THOSE are some JELL-O molds! Thanks for the link.
      Maybe it's not JELL-O mixed with strange things that's the problem - maybe it's a matter of finding the right combination. Your cranberry/celery/walnut dish doesn't sound nearly as bad as tomatoes and orange JELL-O. I might have to venture down gelatin road again.

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  4. That looks revolting but also oddly like salmon sashimi....

    I think this MIGHT be ok if it's made as a jello shot with lemon jello, some vodka, tabasco sauce, black pepper and a blue-cheese stuffed olive. All cakers have Dixie cups on hand, yes?

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    1. Have them on hand? Heck, Dixie cups are an important part of our lives. We even have special holders for them in our bathrooms!

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  5. I think the only saving grace for this recipe is that it calls for a small package of orange jell-o; imagine the horror of using a large box!

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    1. The only saving grace for this recipe is to not make it in the first place.

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