My Fellow Inebriates,
At least a dozen times a day Miss V asks if we can make Jell-O. My parents, who are lazy, usually say something like “Sure, in a little while,” then wait for her to scamper off on another pursuit. Today, however, I had Miss V’s back. I said, “Hey you f*@%ers, your second-born just asked if you would participate in an activity with her. Damn it, people, she wants to make Jell-O.”
This put matters squarely in Dad’s court. Mum was busy making some sort of banana-type atrocity, but Dad was just hanging out in his PJs. He could certainly make Jell-O!
Now, if you’ve never met Miss V in person, just conjure up a picture of Wednesday Addams, only blonde.
When that asks you to make Jell-O, you make Jell-O. Boil water, Dad!
What makes gelatin so perfect for Halloween is its bizarre composition of random animal parts.
If Miss V knew, I wonder if she’d eschew Jell-O? Nah.
So what are we making?
Here’s how you do it:
- 2 large boxes lemon Jell-O
- 2 large boxes orange Jell-O
- 1 can whipped cream
- Candy corn (for decoration)
Prepare lemon Jell-O with 2 cups boiling water, 1 cup cold water and 1 cup vodka .
Divide Jell-O into shot glasses and let chill in fridge for 4 hours.
Prepare orange Jell-O with 2 cups boiling water, 1 cup cold water and 1 cup vodka .
Divide Jell-O into shot glasses on top of the yellow layer and chill again for 4 hours.
Top with whipped cream and candy corn when ready to serve.
My dad, once he’d resigned himself to making Jell-O, said he’d make a different version—a version omitting everything but one package of orange Jell-O.
Curse you, Dad!
Here’s my version:
OPEN LETTER TO HERSHEY’S CANADA
Last year I made my very own cream liqueur, combining full cream, cheap Canadian rye whisky, and melted Hershey’s Chipits. The recipe was a grand success, and even if it did languish in our fridge until clumps collected at the bottom of the jug, it was only because my parents/co-chefs could not conceive of the cream staying fresh long enough for us to consume it at a moderate rate rather than binge-drink it before the cream’s “best before” date. (I know, right? How could they not understand that whisky kills EVERYTHING?)
My homemade liqueur’s label may also have played some small part in its relegation to the back of the fridge—you be the judge, as I don’t have a marketing degree; I’m just a small bear with two brain cells. But whether or not anybody deigned to drink it, I considered our Canadian Cream a glorious concoction, worthy of a second act.
In other words: Liquorstore Bear’s Homemade Kahlua Knock-Off.
Now, Hershey’s people, if you’ve ever had this particular hooch, you know it’s coffee-flavoured. So my mission this Christmas was to combine coffee-type ingredients with, well, any kind of hard alcohol.
My first impulse was to use actual espresso, brewed in a stovetop Bialetti. But my mother, who is lazy, instead presented me with a bag of coffee-flavoured Chipits. These, she said, we could melt the same way we’d melted regular Chipits for our Canadian Cream. It would be faster, the melted chips would impart a creamy mouthfeel, and no one would have to bounce off the walls after drinking the leftover espresso.
“Awesome,” I said, and got the vodka ready. This involved beating a plastic mickey against a table until the cap broke off. (I don’t have any thumbs.)
Meanwhile, my mother melted the coffee-flavoured Chipits. (I am not allowed to use the stove because I am irresponsible.)
As your product melted (correctly, in a double boiler), a most offensive odour began to drift through our kitchen. “That,” I said, “does not smell like coffee.” Yet, in a weird way it did. But in an even weirder way, it really did not. I peeked at the ingredient list:
hydrogenated palm kernel oil
natural and artificial flavours
modified milk ingredients
OMG, Hershey’s! Notice anything? Like…pssst! There’s no coffee in these coffee-flavoured Chipits! Not a bean!
How in the name of all that is furry can I make my own Kahlua with these weird little palm kernel oil pellets that contain no coffee? Holy crap, Hershey’s, it’s a Christmas miracle that there’s even COCOA in them!
So here’s what happened next: My Kahlua knock-off project got aborted! Which left me with a bottle of vodka to pound. In other words, it was a win for me.
Not so much for my mother, though, who foolishly used the melted Chipits to make a cheesecake for Christmas dessert. Go figure, she thought those freaky little coffee-fakers would blend into the other ingredients and perhaps mellow out. But OMG, no. They did not mellow out at all. In fact, just one cup of those wretched little coffee-flavoured Chipits ruined dessert—every single guest left it uneaten! Not even to be polite would they eat that cake.
Those coffee-flavoured Chipits are an abomination.
So anyway, Hershey’s, you kind of wrecked Christmas dessert for us, which meant we had to get drunk instead. Which, in all honesty, I didn’t mind, but my family thought it kind of sucked.
Looks like we’re not the only freegans in Langley. Mum and Miss V went blackberry picking the other day and found the bushes stripped of fruit. What remained was shriveled or festooned with spider webs, and they came home with only half a bucket for their troubles.
“What the hell are we going to make margaritas with?” I asked Miss V, who promptly put me in a dress and forced me to attend a “bear wedding.”
Blackberry season started early this year thanks to a hot, dry summer and/or climate change. My mum only discovered the berries were ready by accident when she emerged from the bank three weeks ago and collected a bucket’s worth in the parking lot within 15 minutes. It was the first time we’d ever received something free or even worthwhile from the bank, but instead of making blender drinks she made jam, crumble, and cookies. When I asked about daiquiris, she said “Next time, LB.” Can you believe it? Complacently then, she waited two weeks to go back for more berries. And they were gone.
If you had more sense than my mother and picked while the picking was good, here are your fabulous prizes.
And if, like my mother, you weren’t organized or didn’t bother to get blackberries so your little bear friend could enjoy blackberry cocktails, your fabulous prize is that you get to go out and buy your little bear friend a bottle of vodka and watch him pound it.