Do you ever think back to those treats of your youth and remember how good they were? Or do you remember that person being so tall when you were so short? Or that place that had the coolest things?
And you revisit that person who isn't quite so tall anymore and those cool things in that place? Not so cool. Not like Neverland and Michael Jackson kind of uncool, but just uncool. A Twinkee? It's just not so good anymore- they're oily, more oily than you remember, and the satisfaction does not last the way it once did. Don't get me started on Little Debbie Cakes. Tucked in the back of my mother's pantry, there might be a box still hidden and those perfect little cakes wrapped in their cellophane wrapper probably look like they did twenty five years ago. Fortunately, my mother stays on top of her pantry much better than my father does with his garage.
The garage has 32 hammers. I digress.
64 screwdrivers. 25 of which are flat head. Must... quit... digressing...
The other day, my mom and I were talking as she was cleaning out the pantry and I asked her about something I remember from my childhood.
My grandparents used to make a special Jell-O for the grandchildren. My grandparents were of the Jell-O mold generation and found fanciful ways to dress up the gelatin and make it picture perfect. My mother has old cookbooks with sections dedicated to Jell-O salads and gelatin-li-ness for the most elegant of dinners. In case you are curious, at the fanciest of dinners, Jell-O is served in a small bowl with a low lip and is eaten with a fork. Oh, and a mold isn't so pretty once a spoon comes into play.
This Jell-O is made from apricot Jell-O and involves hot orange juice and cold buttermilk. I kid you not. And we devoured it. They made it for us when we were sick or visiting. Not every time we were sick or every time we visited, but just enough to make us want it all the more.
Mom and I went to Publix to look for apricot Jell-O. Nothing. They have Black Cherry Jell-O and Pina Colada Jell-O, but no Apricot. Also, the flavors are alphabetized at Publix, in case you were curious.
I was at Fresh Market some time later and looked at all their Jell-Os. Arranged by color, there was no apricot.
Mom went to Target and thought to look at their selection. No apricot.
Kroger- the place where my grandmother used many a coupon- they would have to have it. Nope. Their Jell-O was arranged by someone smoking doobies.
It started to bother me. Did Jell-O cease to make apricot flavor? How will I rekindle this memory from being so small? Surely... Shirley apricot Jell-O is still in existence. A google search and a trip to the Jell-O website (because they have such) informed me that apricot Jell-O is still in production.
I am turning Hometown upside down looking for this ingredient out of mere curiosity as I am hesitant to concoct a recipe that involves hot orange juice and cold buttermilk. But, curiosity killed the cat and it will always get the best of me. Why turn a town upside down when Al gave us the Internet?
And God gave us Amazon?
Apricot Jell-O is sold on Amazon... but only by the case. Do you think I walked away without purchasing that which I have scoured the town for days looking for? You bet your sweet tail that I did not walk away empty handed. A case of apricot Jell-O arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Husband is going to flip when he sees it-- and not the good kind of flip. Mom promised me that she will make it for me tomorrow. I hope that it is as good as I remember.
A call to one of my Hanes-wearing aunts to tell her what I have purchased, I could tell it made her smile to hear the memory of this concoction that we all remember so fondly. She mentioned that her son still loves it.
"Wait- they have apricot Jell-O in Montana?!"
She did not know.
"Well, I can solve that. I'll send him some."
A label on a tiny Jell-O box and it gets weighed on the same scale we weigh Fuzzy. $1.61 worth of stamps later- it is in the mailbox. $1.61 worth of stamps do not fit on the front of the box without obscuring the addresses. Rather they ran along the side of the box. And the back. I wonder if it will get delivered.
I don't even like apricots.