Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Last night I was going through my cupboards searching for a midnight snack.  That's when I came across two things that have followed me around from place to place since I've branched out on my own.  Originally a gift from my mother (I think), these two things have been packed up and unpacked at least half a dozen times.  They've been my constant companions longer than any of my former roommates have.  They stood as silent sentinels, watching over the battles won and lost in the kitchen.  That is... until last night.

Let me first back track a little.  For some reason, I developed a stigma to Jell-o.  Maybe it was too many Jell-o shots in college, a fear that I too would develop a food allergy to artificial food colorings as my sisters, or the memory of a botched romantic experiment – I don't know.  But while I was in Hawaii, I attended a barbeque at Renee and Calvin's house and they had a Jell-o dessert with Mandarin orange slices embedded in it.  At first it didn't register at all.  My stigma was in full swing and did a wonderful job of cloaking it from my sight.  Then I noticed Azalea going back for more.  She must have gone back six times before I decided to try it.  AND I LIKED IT!  I was fully prepared to let some inner dessert snob sensibility take over, politely choke down the portion I dipped for myself out of curiosity, and vow once more never to touch the stuff.  This was not the case.  I really enjoyed the freshness and lightness of the dessert that had just a touch of citric acid pucker.

Seeing the can of Mandarin orange slices and the box of Jell-o in my cupboard last night after the barbeque was like having new eyes!  So, I made the super easy dish and this morning I sat in sunshine and ate some.  It was like I was putting little bits of sunshine in my mouth, a perfect way to celebrate the coming Spring. 


Cristi Baxter Clothier said...

Hi Andrew! Once agin you've taken me back to my childhood. I think the Jell-o and mandarin orange thing is a southern staple. Both my mother and grandmother made this regularly.

Gaea said...

Having a good laugh about the "romantic" comment! I have the same aversion to jell-o mostly due to it's being linked in my head to hospital stays or tonsils! Glad you were triumphant!

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you have (had) a jello stigma, yet you had a box of jello in your cupboards!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Cristi!

I'm glad that I could bring back some warm Southern memories for you. It's funny how the little things can be such powerful triggers. They help us to remember and cherish.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Gaea!

Yeah, I can laugh about that experience now. At the time it was a whole lot of uncomfortable embarrassment and ultimately futile.

It also might have been that I thought of elementary school and lunch-time in the cafeteria. Who knows?

I'm glad too, but will have to remember to proceed with caution so that I don't over do it and become allergic to food coloring like my sisters.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Jenna!

I don't know, I carry about a lot of stuff with me. Some things I don't even like, but still haul around with me. It's kind of like the boulder on my back. I could never be a minimalist. Alas.

I think the Jell-o have been there because I don't like throwing food away, like to have things around for guests, and/or it was given to me by someone else. So, there's a weird bunch of feelings of obligation there. ha ha ha.