Sunday, July 19, 2009

Experimental food and the pictures that weren't

I had some pictures to post, but the other computer is having issues. I'm thinking maybe either the main board or the graphics cards is over-heating.

We were going to do an experiment electronic existentialism meeting the real world. We still can I guess, but it's not going to be as cool.

Julie posted a while back, I think on a controversial Monday, about potlucks.

Today I have been experimenting. I was going to give you all a blow-by-blow, with pictures, and then, this is where it gets existential, anyone game could swing by the church picnic tomorrow and give it a try.

But this whole thing is sorta boring without pics.

Step 1. I let Deacon and Roman pick out the Jello. They decided to go with "warm colors," so we ended up with Lemon, Orange and Wild Strawberry. I shot down the Wild Strawberry, opting instead for Black Cherry. Deep Red for Light Red. Nearly living by the Duck-Billed Dinosaur Principle. In hind sight, I should have rejected the Lemon. After tasting the powder, that stuff is not cool. Oh well.

Step 2. I let Deacon choose the order for the Jello. Lemon on the bottom, then Orange with Black Cherry on top. (Maybe he's been studying physics...)

Step 3. Make Lemon Jello and put in large bowl. Begin setting.

Step 4. After a break to give the Lemon a head start, make Orange Jello in separate container and begin setting.

Step 5. Add layer of marshmallow cream on top of Lemon Jello. I know what you're thinking, "Marshmallow cream? This guy is off his rocker." Don't judge. Let us recall that one of the greatest add-ins to Jello ever are marshmallows.

Julie: "But marshmallow cream is not marshmallows!"

On the surface, perhaps not, but deep down, in their heart-of-hearts, they share the same quintessence. Disparate in form, but united in jet-puffed sugary awesomeness!

(Side note: Did you know that only Americans and possibly Canadians are the only people sophisticated enough to eat marshmallows? My grad-school friends from other countries didn't know about marshmallows. Conversely, most of them had very limited exposure to other culinary masterpieces such as Rice Krispie bars. But that's another story for another time.)

Anyway, the marshmallow cream was kinda hard to spread on semi-soft Lemon Jello. Oh well.

Step 6. Poor in the semi-soft Orange Jello layer. Herein, we hit a snag. The semi-soft Orange Jello was actually still pretty-liquid Orange Jello, and my marshmallow cream layer promptly floated to the top of the Orange Jello layer. Hmm. Didn't see that coming.

Step 7. Let the whole thing set really well. Raise your hand if you honestly expected there to be time to set the whole thing really well. Yeah, that's right, I actually started before 11pm.

Step 8. Warm up the rest of the marshmallow cream so it spreads easier. Add the rest of the marshmallow cream to the layer already on top of the Orange Jello layer.

Step 9. Make Black Cherry Jello and partially set.

Step 10. Add Black Cherry Jello to bowl on top of Marshmallow cream.

Step 11. Slice in two bananas to make it a fruit salad.

Oh yeah! It'll be at church tomorrow if anyone wants to try it at the picnic.


My second experiment of the day worked out. I made a marinade from scratch using the four rules of marinade from Weber. They are

1. Add an oil/fat
2. Add an acid
3. Add something salty
4. Add something sweet
5. Add something spicy

Or something like that. Doesn't matter right?

Here is the recipe.

1/3 C olive oil (oil)
2/3 C Cider vinegar (acid)
1 tea Kosher salt (salty)
1/3 C Maple syrup (sweet)
1-2 tea Crushed red pepper flakes (spicy)

It was pretty good on Chicken. The spicy part didn't punch much, so if I did it again, which I will soon, I'm going to put in more pepper flakes.


Secret message:
Walter Matthau (had to look it up)
Mojo Chicken (just came to me)


Rachel said...

I knew right away with the comments about what's wrong with your computer that an engineer type had to be typing, not a nurse.

Kudos to you for preparing the picnic jello salad - I hope it's the hit of the picnic.

Elise said...

The Jello sounds good to me. Most anything with Marshmallow Creme is bound to turn out okay. When I lived in Philly, my roommate from North Carolina had never heard of marshmallow creme.

I think I'll have to keep the 5 step marinade in my cookbook for those days when I have random meat that I bought because it was on sale, but have no particular thoughts about what to do with it.

Mike/Jenni said...

One note: when I was in France, they ate marshmallows.

Grandma Debbie said...

In Spain they had marshmallows, but were hard to find and were more like homemade. I think we found them at a confectioners. They did not have graham crackers and the s'mores we made were a little strange - not the taste treat I was expecting. Of course this was some 30 years ago.....