Have another cherry…
I’m sad to report that my good friend and Ape Culture co-editor Nerdia recently moved from LA to Santa Fe. While I have no doubt our friendship and creative partnership will remain strong across the miles, I will definitely miss seeing her regularly. Before she left, we got together to watch one of our favorite films: The Witches of Eastwick. This movie features a merger of our celebrity obsessions. I’m a big Jack Nicholson fan, and Mary is a Cher Scholar. When we were roommates and Witches would happen to be on TV, we used to play a game where we’d notice how far into the movie it was based on the start time on the TV guide channel and try to guess what scene would be on before turning to the movie. We were scarily accurate in these predictions due to obsessive watching of the film over the years. A small corner of my brain is devoted to having memorized most of Jack’s lines in the film. Although it’s been about 20 years since I watched it repeatedly, I can still remember most of the soliloquies.
Anyway, I’m digressing from the topic of this blog: Jell-O. As I enjoy theming jello dishes to my parties, I knew that the jello for this occasion would have to feature cherries. If you’ve seen the film, you know why – if not, you need to see it! I decided to make two recipes – Cherry Chiffon from The New Joys of Jell-O and Coke Salad – a beloved recipe from my youth.
Cherry Chiffon was the more popular of the two dishes. Most people had seconds. It involved cherry jello, cool whip, and a can of dark cherries. The recipe also called for using ice instead of cold water, which allows the jello to set super-fast. This was definitely handy and a tip I’ll keep in mind for when I have jello-making time constraints. It turned out pretty with the contrast between the jello and cherries layer and the jello and cool whip layer.
Coke Salad was popularized in my childhood by my friend Christine’s mother, Barb Horace. Since Christine and I have been friends since kindergarten, Barb has been like a second mother to me, and she has made Coke Salad for me on many occasions. It never fails to cheer me up. She and I both love Coca Cola and adding it to jello can only produce a winner. This recipe is simple.
1 3 oz black cherry jello
1 cup hot water
1 cup Coke
1 pkg Philadelphia cream cheese
1 can black cherries (drained)
Combine all ingredients. Chill until set.
It can be hard to find black cherry jello sometimes, but luckily Ralph’s had it in stock. Folks didn’t really express much enthusiasm over this one. I partially blame myself for using the hand mixer to try to get the cream cheese to blend in with the jello better. When it doesn’t blend in, it makes the jello mold resemble cellulite. My vigorous hand mixing resulted in the spattering of the cherries everywhere (kinda like the cherry scenes in the movie), so the finished dish lacked the zing of whole cherries. I do recommend you try this dish yourself though. It kind of tastes like Dr. Pepper.
Fortunately, neither dish caused an upchucking of cherries, although that would be a sort of homage to the movie, I guess. Watch the clip if you don’t know the connection between The Witches of Eastwick and cherries – but watch at your own risk, and preferably not while eating these jello molds.