Monday, March 16, 2009
The Great Jell-o Caper
It's not for nothing my grandfather called me Sparky. I had this idea this weekend involving Jell-o.
You see, my friend Leslie's husband Mike has had surgery on an unspeakable part of his body that makes digesting food somewhat challenging at present. He's just home after two long weeks in the hospital. I thought it would be fun to make him a really fancy dish of Jell-o to help him laugh through the pain of the bland diet he is forced to consume for the next few weeks.
I asked my mother if she had any Jell-o. I don't even know where you buy the stuff. Haven't made it since I was in Girl Scouts. Mom says, oh sure I think there is some up in the cupboard.
Some? How about a dozen boxes, all purchased in about 1964. There must have been a big sale on Jell-o that year. Anyway, we read the directions and I unearthed a spectacular copper Jell-o mold from the bowels (oops shouldn't use that word after my friend's husband's surgery) ... er, from the depths of Mother's kitchen. I removed the two bugs that had died in it long ago, washed it, made the Jell-o and managed to get it into the fridge without spilling too much of it on the floor of my parents' house.
Dad, meanwhile, had been having a few difficult days. His caregivers on the weekend may have confused his medicine, or perhaps he's just having a little trouble with his diet, but he's had a few nights of--sorry to have to mention this--throwing up. Last night I gave him a Pepcid after dinner and hoped that would do the trick.
I was worried about him, so I called this morning at 7:30 a.m. to see if Dad had had a good night. My mother said he'd had a little trouble with his stomach, but then said she had something difficult to tell me. Oh no, you say to yourself. When anything is difficult to tell and your parents are in their late eighties, you expect the worst.
"The caregiver on duty during the night was worried about your father's upset stomach. So she served him some of your Jell-o."
The laugh was supposed to be for Leslie's husband, but it turned out to be on me. My fancy gelatin dessert--destroyed before it every saw the light of day, just as Mrs. Jordan's aspic had been in Dinner at Eight. Well heck, if Dad needed my Jell-o, it was okay with me. Hard to believe I'll be making Jell-o for the second time in one week after a thirty year hiatus. But there is--and I can say this with absolute certainty--a lot more Jell-o where that came from.