Note from The Thrifty Couple: For our last post this week featuring our five-course summer BBQ meal, we wanted to share a favorite from one of our dear friends. Desiree has brought this salad to a few church potlucks and gatherings and we knew we had to share this with you! We love how you can change this up for each holiday (think red, white and blue for 4th of July). The oohs and awes always make it the talk of the party! Desiree is also one of our contributors and runs her own site Diligence Without Fear. You might remember her when she shared her last article on Cloth Diapering 101. We hope you love this recipe and have even more fun making it!
I love this recipe for summer gatherings! It’s absurdly easy if you will be home for the day, and it never fails to draw oohs and ahhs. It’s also a lot of fun to make – in my house all the kids come crowding around to watch me pour another layer in! Last time I made it, I decided to keep track of how long it took to make.
It took less than 30 minutes of active cooking time. (If you can call it cooking. Does boiling water for Jello even count?)
From start to finish, it took about 7 hours. Now, I am sure you could do it in much less, but I am awfully busy, all the time, and I can easily forget that I am supposed to be making Jello. Or maybe I can’t get back to it for a while because somebody needs a Band Aid for the blisters they got while digging a hole to China in the back yard. Once I go to get the Band Aid, I might notice that the bathroom has received a nice, fresh coat of mud since I saw it last. When I am half done cleaning the mud, my nose will detect a dirty diaper in need of changing…and once apprehended and cleaned up, the freshly changed child will want a drink and a snack. We all open the fridge, and there it is – the half-finished Jello.
So you see, 7 hours is pretty impressive. The nice thing is, this recipe will forgive you if you forget about it, or have to finish it the next day.
Rainbow Jello (adapted from this recipe on Allrecipes.com)
- 1 small box black cherry Jello
- 1 small box cherry Jello
- 1 small box lime Jello
- 1 small box lemon Jello
- 1 small box orange Jello
- 1 small box peach or mango Jello
- 1 small box strawberry Jello
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- Make the black cherry Jello using 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Stir till dissolved, and pour into a 9 x 13 glass pan. It will form a very thin layer. Refrigerate till firm – about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the cherry Jello using 1 cup boiling water. Leave it sit on the counter to cool to room temperature. When cool, add 1/2 cup evaporated milk and stir well. Pour gently on top of the chilled black cherry layer and refrigerate. (I find it easiest to add the layers without taking the pan out of the fridge at all).
- While that is setting, make the next one – lime, with 1 1/2 cup boiling water. Leave it sit again, and pour it on when the layer in the fridge is set and the lime is room temperature.
- Now make the lemon with 1 cup boiling water, and leave to cool while the lime sets up. Just before you pour it on, add 1/2 cup evaporated milk.
- Next, the orange, with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. You know what to do!
- Then the peach or mango, with 1 cup boiling water and the 1/2 cup evaporated milk.
- Finish it off with the strawberry layer, with 1 1/2 cup boiling water. Let set and you are done! Now sit back and admire it. I have heard of people “frosting” this will Cool Whip – but I think it is way too pretty to cover it up like that!
You could do any number of variations. Some I am thinking of trying are a red, white, and blue for the 4th of July, and one that is all peach but alternates between layers with and without milk.
To make this for less, watch for sales on Jello and stock up. Or do what I usually do, because I’m still working on the whole planning ahead thing, and use the store brand. It is just as good and often significantly cheaper!
Desiree is a homeschooling mom of 6, wife to Mark, and blogs now and then about homemaking and homeschooling in faith at Diligence Without Fear.