Amateurs

Perhaps the most delightful byproduct of a blog about gelatin is when people tell you they made a recipe you posted. It's happened a few times and I get a kick out of it whenever someone tells me about it. Sometimes they're seasoned cooks who feel comfortable in the kitchen (and with following directions - jello is chemistry after all) and sometimes they're...less so. Amateurs, if you will. But as fickle as jello can be, certain recipes are a lot more forgiving than you might imagine. A few months ago my partner told me he was going to make the infamous jello pretzel salad for a competition with a few friends at school (he's also in graduate school, but we're not in the same program because we like to do things the hard way). There's a group of about six friends who get together every month or so for dinner at someone's house and they call it "Come Dine With Me" after a UK television show, apparently. So each dinner they choose a dish for two challengers to prepare for the next dinner and he chose jello as the theme. When he first told me this I was delighted and then a little leery that he could pull it off without my help. I should point out that my partner is not a total moron and is quite a good cook but a jello amateur is a jello amateur.

But he picked the recipe and we talked through it on the phone and off he went to the grocery store.

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He's British, so we had several conversations about what exactly Cool-Whip is and where to find the cream cheese but he made it home with the proper ingredients and got to work.

There were a few check-in phone calls (particularly pertaining to the "done-ness" of the jello) but the final product looked pretty good (at least in person, next time we'll work on the food photography).

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The competition ended in a draw (which I still find hard to believe, jello pretzel salad is a blue ribbon choice) but I was super impressed. Always a good reminder to have a little more faith in your own and others' abilities when trying something new.

Pip pip, gov'na. 

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