I was supposed to provide a Mandarin Orange Jello salad for our Christmas dinner yesterday. I think it was supposed to look something like the one I have pictured here. I had never made one before so my daughter-in-law kindly emailed her recipe for it to me and I'd gone out and bought the ingredients for it the other day. As I perused my list and saw "2 boxes of Tapioca" and then gazed up at the Minute Tapioca boxes on the top shelf I thought to myself, "Man, that sure is a lot of tapioca!" But I bought it and then on Christmas Eve day I brought the boxes of tapioca, the cans of mandarin oranges, and Cool Whip out to whip it all together. Poured the two boxes of Minute Tapioca into the pan. The water/juice combination. And began to bring it all to a boil. Oh my my. Right away I knew something wasn't right. It looked like joint compound you could spackle walls with. And it took about 5 cups of water...maybe 6...to make it look even remotely...ok. Hmmmmmmmmm. My daughter was watching me as I'm going about it, getting the giggles as she looked at my pan full of...goooooooooooo...and said, "Mom, I don't think you're doing that right." I said, "Well, this is what the recipe says and I'm following it," handing the paper over to her. She looked at it and had to admit I was following directions, alright. As it cooled and I added in the oranges...and a can of pineapple, too, because the salad looked so 'empty' with just the orange slices, we both looked at it rather dubiously and said, "Well, who knows?"
Yesterday as I started loading up the food I'd prepared out of the refrigerator I picked up the pretty cut glass bowl I'd put the jello salad in. It must've weighed 15 pounds. It'd turned in to cement overnite. I quickly whipped together a Pumpkin Mousse and tossed the orange salad in the trash.
Come to find out, I was supposed to have used 2 little boxes of Jello Tapioca. But I'm of the 'old school'. Tapioca is Minute Tapioca, like my mom used to stir and simmer on the stove.
Another one of those Christmas bloopers like the one years ago when I got a cute little wicker basket with a patchwork chicken cotton topper and I said, "Finally...something to keep my buns warm!"
We still laugh about that one.