kruizing with kikukat

Monday, June 29, 2015

Seven-Layer Jello

I guess it's that time of year again. . .Fourth of July will be upon us soon.

With the exception of last year, I would try to post something red-white-and-blue, just to keep with the theme.  Last year I broke from tradition, and my post had nothing to do with the holiday.  This year, I'm tiptoe-ing on the edge.

While the picture on the left shows multi-colored layers, this could easily be adapted to the red-white-and-blue color scheme.  This is a popular layered jello which can be found on the dessert buffet at local parties. . .if they HAVE a dessert buffet.

Oh, who am I kidding?  All local parties have a table with a bunch of desserts laid out.  Or they SHOULD.

Last week, D2 went to a birthday party.  She and the others were told to arrive at noon and get picked up at 4:00.  Since I was working, I asked The Help to drop her off and pick her up.  When she got home, I asked her about the food.  She said she ate cake.  I asked what else was served.  She replied, "cake.  I told you already."

I guess that was one party which did not have the usual dessert buffet.  Of course, there was no "BYOB" on the invitations (like some of the graduation parties D1 gets invited to).

I suppose I'm just a fuddy-duddy with ideas stuck in the 1970s where parties had tons of food (more than triple what could be consumed there).

If you are like me and expect (and hope) parties have a huge variety of food with interesting and tasty desserts, you can contribute to the dessert table by bringing a platter of Seven-Layer Jello.

Everyone always loves Jello.  My favorite thing to do is to peel the layers apart as I'm eating.  If I'm lucky, I can separate all the layers nicely.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

Milk Mixture:  1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
                         2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
                         1/4 c cold water
                         1 3/4 c hot water

Soften unflavored gelatin by sprinkling over cold water.  Add hot water.  Stir for 2 minutes.  Add condensed milk.  Stir.  Set aside.

Gelatin Mixture:  4 boxes (3 oz each) jello, any flavor(s)/color(s)
                             5 c hot water, divided
                             4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

In a small bowl, stir together 1 box of jello and 1 envelope unflavored gelatin.  Add 1/4 c hot water.  Stir for 30 seconds to soften.  Add 1 c hot water.  Stir until gelatin dissolves.  Pour into 9 x 13" pan and chill 20 minutes.  While first layer is chilling, dissolve remaining boxes of jello/gelatin in separate bowls.  Set aside.

After 20 minutes, carefully pour 1 cup of milk mixture over first jello layer in pan.  Chill 20 minutes.  Pour second jello layer over milk mixture.  Chill 15 minutes.  Pour 1 cup of milk mixture over jello layer.  Chill 15 minutes.  Pour third jello layer over milk mixture.  Chill 15 minutes.  Pour 1 cup of milk mixture over jello layer.  Chill 15 minutes.  Discard any extra milk mixture.  Pour final jello layer over milk mixture.  Chill 15 minutes before covering pan.  When completely set, cut into bars or squares.

We finally got around to celebrating Mother's Day and Father's Day this weekend.  We indulged at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel's Clambake.  The Clambake is probably the most decadent (and most $) dinner buffet on the Big Island.  The $100+ price tag per person seems steep, but bring a daddy who can eat at least 2 lobsters, and you will get major bang for your benjamin(s).  Kids 12-and-under are considerably less.  While the lobsters are the star, I gravitate to the endless supply of raw oysters on the half-shell.  The tossed-while-you-wait Caesar salad may seem like a waste of tummy space, but the dressing is yummy (no sign of the vile condiment) and you can add your own garlic later.  The dessert array was adequate, but the build-your-own-sundae appeal is lost on me. . .I'm not a huge fan of ice cream.  BUT, if you have even a tiny bit of room to spare, treat yourself to the mac nut cups, tiny tarts filled with chocolate and macadamia nut mousse.  Check out the Clambake menu here.

The beautiful setting out on the lanai near the beach.  The last time I went to the Clambake, the weather wasn't good so they moved the entire buffet to the hotel ground-level lanai.  The beach lanai venue has the various stations nicely spread out so traffic jams by popular food stations are kept to a minimum.

The salad station. . .probably the most un-popular of all the stations.  I was going to try the tomato and ogo salad (middle), but I got sidetracked by the following picture.  The Help said he had the cole slaw.  Baka.

Half of this station (you can guess which half) has got to be tied for my favorite area.  Raw oysters are awesome, and these oysters were fresh and sweet.  The mignonette sauce provides a tart departure from my standard shoyu.  The only improvement would be a vat of chili-pepper water. 

Judging from the looks of this area, this pic was taken before D2 got in line.  She took two large scoops of rice.  Did she miss my message about eating the $$$ stuff?  Who goes to a buffet and has rice?  Apparently, D2 does.

Where else can you find a nice man who will extract the lobster meat for you just by asking?  The lady waiting for her lobster meat must've missed the waiter's explanation about those blue and white platters.  He clearly indicated that those dishes were for for the lobster shells; dinner plates were at the end of each station. 

After fiddling with half a lobster on my first round, I decided not to waste my time.  The next time I went into the lobster line, I asked the nice man (in pic above) to give me just the tails and claws.  I ended up eating just the tail portions. . .D2 discovered that she enjoys lobster after all.  Her fave part:  the claws.

While we were waiting for our check, er, while I was waiting for the check, a young family (dad, mom and son) sat on the table next to us.  They wasted no time in going for the lobster.  Dad's plate has 3 whole lobsters and son's plate has one lobster on it.  The son must've been somewhere between 7-9 years old.  Mom's plate is hidden, but there's a thick slab of prime rib on it.  Luckily they left the table to get other things so we could snap a pic.

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