A long, long time ago, Don McLean owns that collection of words. You can’t use them without thinking of the song “American Pie.” But perhaps that is fitting because a long, long time ago I wrote a love letter to the crock pot, that rotund bellied deliverer of deliciousness. But a reader named Maria Walters told me I was missing a very important element of the church potluck, the jello dish. She researched the worst types of jello dishes (olives and velveeta?) and then wrote a song of sorts. Here is her very funny, very musical guest post. (Read it to the tune of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”) Enjoy!
Ode to Jello, the Potluck Staple
“A potluck,” the church bulletin said,
And ambitious plans began to run through my head.
I could make something exotic, some salads or soups,
But something unfamiliar was destined for sympathy scoops
Paralyzed by ideas, and ingredients for none
The potluck came with no planning done.
I opened my pantry to see what we’ve got
JELL-O stared back. I was saved… so I thought.
As I walked in that night with my platter of yellow,
I asked where to put it and was told: by the JELL-O
And, yes, there they were, Jigglers like mine
But all with such perfect molds and designs
And wait, that’s not all, as I scanned to the right.
Giant glass bowls full of JELL-O filled up my sight
But just JELL-O? No. Not plain JELL-O at all:
covered with marshmallows, layered, or piled tall.
And what were those shapes inside? Were they nuts?
Canned fruit, berries, raisins, carrots?
Milk, yogurt, and applesauce caught my eye
And whipped cream peaks that reached to the sky.
But beside the parfaits… is that cottage cheese?
In JELL-O? And popcorn? Don’t tell me, oh please!
This one is made with Velveeta, that one with greens,
Cucumbers and celery – nightmares replaced my JELL-O dreams!
Olives? Really? And pretzels? And cola?
All mixed together in a “delightful” ambrosia.
Now my plate is full of gelatinous goo,
Which leads to the question: if I taste it, would you?
Be honest, have you ever thrown together Jell-o at the last minute before a dinner party or potluck? If not, what’s your go to “pretend you didn’t forget to plan ahead” dish?
(For more great stuff from Maria, check out her blog.)