ALSO A COOKING BLOG  1:50 pm November 25, 2009

The Jell-O Recipe That Mamie Eisenhower Used To Win The Cold War

by Juli Weiner

Here is your bit of “DC gossip” for the day: a Jell-o dessert recipe, for the holiday of Thanksgiving! It is Mamie Eisenhower’s famed Red Scare Thanksgiving Jell-o Dessert and it is best served chilled, to family members you hate. (There is Mamie right there with “friend” Lenora Hickock, feeding each other Jell-O and giggling knowingly.) This vile thing is exactly what the Eisenhowers used to force-feed the Soviets, and it is delicious.


  • One (1) packet of sugar-free raspberry Jello
  • One (1) small-ish amount of water
  • One (1) handful of ice cubes
  • One (1) cup of Sprite Zero
  • One (1) packet of Cherry-Pomegranate Crystal Light
  1. Fill a small-ish sauce pan thing with water. Ideally it should amount to around a cup or so, but sometimes even the best chefs have a difficult time finding where overreaching family members moved the measuring cups, so just whatever feels like a cup, that’s probably a cup.
  2. Pour out the sugar-free raspberry Jello into a bowl. Make sure the bowl is big enough to hold at least two or so cups of liquid. This last point is crucial.
  3. Stare at the water until it boils. Do not worry: it will boil, despite the epigram suggesting otherwise.
  4. Pour the boiling water on top of the Jello in the bowl and stir it a few times so all the Jello particles whiz around in an even fashion and none are stuck to the bottom.
  5. Pour like a half-cup of cold Sprite Zero into the mixture too.
  6. So now grab a handful of ice cubes and place them in here too, as this will hasten the Jello along on its journey from liquid Jello to Jello Jello.
  7. Add a dash, or more than a dash—no judgment!—of Cherry-Pomegranate Crystal Light. There are now several different flavors floating about, which is several minus one more than you would have in cases of unmodified sugar-free raspberry Jello.
  8. Place in freezer. You heard me.
  9. Check on the Jello by sticking your finger in it every 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. When it resembles an ice-skating rink covered in blood (a hockey rink?), it is Time.

This is all it took, plus Ronald Reagan.

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AnnieGetYourFun November 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Well, damn, if I serve this to the Canadian relatives, will they die?

S.Luggo November 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm

And you can eat it with a spoon!

SayItWithWookies November 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm

And it can be used as some sort of discus for winter track and field events. Just remember not to eat it.

Accordion-o-rama November 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

If only Mamie had put RR in her jello, so much trouble could have been avoided.

JMP November 25, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Where’s the alcohol? Hm, maybe Mamie was afraid to add it because Dick & Pat would then scarf the whole thing down and start causing trouble again.

jumblebunny November 25, 2009 at 2:03 pm

not putting sugar in things is distinctly un-american.

Lionel Hutz Esq. November 25, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Little known fact: Mamie Eisenhower could not pass the Republican Purity Test. In fact, she couldn’t pass any purity test, the little tramp.

SmutBoffin November 25, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Huh, maybe I should post my recipe for “Jalapeno R. Poppenheimers” or, I dunno, “MacArthur-roni and cheese”.

Extemporanus November 25, 2009 at 2:04 pm

My mom used to serve something like this to Christmas carolers, only she called it her “Merry Menstruals”.

Lionel Hutz Esq. November 25, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I don’t know. The lack of lard, salt, and any number of weird chemical coloring or flavor agents makes me question that this is a recipe from the ’50s.

Lionel Hutz Esq. November 25, 2009 at 2:06 pm

[re=466520]JMP[/re]: You are thinking of Betty Ford, who was famous for serving flaming Jello shots in the White House. In the end, it turned out they were just Sterno cans.

Extemporanus November 25, 2009 at 2:09 pm

[re=466527]Extemporanus[/re]: Some newsbot lady just informed me that there’s a Utah dude stuck in Timpanogos Grotto’s Nutty Putty Cave, in a section known as “The Birth Canal”.


shadowMark November 25, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Today we are all Gwyneth Paltrow.

Lemming Caution November 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm

[re=466528]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: lack of any weird chemical coloring? have you *seen* Crystal Light/Sugar-Free Jell-O?

RoscoePColtraine November 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I’ll stick to my favorite congealed treat, canned cranberry sauce. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving for me if I didn’t get to hear that wonderful, appetizing sound as it comes loose and falls out of the can, all the ridges and shapes from the mold intact.

freakishlystrong November 25, 2009 at 2:13 pm


S.Luggo November 25, 2009 at 2:13 pm

“So now grab a handful of ice cubes and place them in here”

You must been have a source of constant startlement to your beaus.

magic titty November 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm

[re=466527]Extemporanus[/re]: You almost got me fired.

PsycGirl November 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Everyone in my area of Southwestern VA would have to go to the store for the three sugar-free items, because they sure as hell don’t use them on a regular basis.

Mahousu November 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Somehow I think this was actually served at the Weiner-Sickles wedding reception, rather than the Eisenhower Thanksgiving table. Did a red that intense even exist back in the ’50′s?

thesheriffisnear November 25, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Wasn’t “Hick” Mrs. Roosevelt’s special friend? I hate when Jello gets those hard rubbery chunks as it settles. Also.

whiskey tango foxtrot November 25, 2009 at 2:21 pm

[re=466538]freakishlystrong[/re]: Needs some pure grain alcohol. Also.

RoscoePColtraine November 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm

[re=466552]thesheriffisnear[/re]: The “skin” at the bottom of the jello bowl can be used as fruit roll-ups if your one of the poors. Try that on your young’uns sometime.

sludjbunni November 25, 2009 at 2:28 pm

[re=466541]PsycGirl[/re]: Everclear freezes like jello and, although not sugar free, it’s organic. Buy local, go green.

Jim89048 November 25, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Oh god, my mom! My mom was Mamie Eisenhower!

thesheriffisnear November 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm

[re=466565]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: I like chocolate pudding topped with Cool Whip. I also like to say the word iteration.

the problem child November 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Needs vodka. And more icecubes.

thesheriffisnear November 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm

[re=466536]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Although I’m from Massachusetts I prefer my cranberry jelly without the berries which is sacrilege, I think. Its Kind of like being an Alabaman who don’t like grits; or so they said in “My Cousin Vinny.”

greg November 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm

So while he was railing against the Military Industrial Complex in public, Eisenhower was secretly mainlining its single-evilest invention, aspartame, at home?

RoscoePColtraine November 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm

[re=466598]thesheriffisnear[/re]: Cranberry jelly without the berries for you, a Massachusetts native, IS a sacrilege, I’d imagine. About the same as a southerner putting sugar in their cornbread. I’ll never forget the first time I ate it that way (at a friend’s home, who was a yankee transplant in Dixie) and said “What the fuck is this?

And your right. No self respecting southerner uses instant grits.

Sharkey November 25, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Gelatin, ewwwwww. If you don’t know how they make gelatin, look it up – hopefully it turn you into a vegetarian. A vegetarian who doesn’t eat gelatin.

Sharkey November 25, 2009 at 3:14 pm

… and also it’s Lenora Hickok (there are not two “c”s in the last name – I’m looking at you Julie)

alkybookworm November 25, 2009 at 3:16 pm

[re=466516]SayItWithWookies[/re]: or apparently, your fingers.

Neilist November 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm

You Wonkie Liberals have NO knowledge of history:

If “Sprite Zero” existed during the Eisenhower Era, then I’m the Queen of the May.

Trust me: It wasn’t “Sprite Zero.” That’s a Godless Communist “diet” soda distributed by the Comintern to weaken Western democracies.

Back then, Mamie would have used Honest, Jeybus Loving American 7-Up, and thanked Our Lord & Savior for every calorie as she poured it into the mix.

(In contrast, the First Lady would have been belting from the gin bottle, muttering about Ike banging Kate Summersby in London during the war years. There was something about the latter’s jaunty grin, and the British Mechanised Transport Corps uniform was sooooo SEXY!

Also, Kate went down like a Type VIIC U-Boat, If You Know What I Mean And I Think You Do . . . . )

Lionel Hutz Esq. November 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

[re=466535]Lemming Caution[/re]: True, but remember in the 50′s Lemon Jello was colored with lead.

tcb November 25, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Juli can make water boil by staring at it, without even putting it above a fire, even? I thought that was a secret of the League of Justice chefs’ guild.

Vulpes82 November 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Not enough spittle, invective, and ennui to be an Awl cooking segment post, Ken, so you foist it upon us! For shame!

Katydid November 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm

[re=466619]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Making that shit’s harder than you think for Northerners. As a long-time New Englander, I had never even eaten cornbread until I moved to Georgia. My Southern friends kept insisting that I just had to make some from scratch.

I don’t think I did it right. Even the fucking dogs wouldn’t eat it, and one of ‘em enjoyed snacking from the cat’s litter box immensely, had chowed down on fiberglass insulation, and I’m pretty sure once literally ate half of an empty can of coke (we couldn’t find the rest of the can anywhere).

We tried putting a top on the litter box to keep the dog out. Fucking cat wouldn’t go in it. I think they had worked out a deal.

Katydid November 25, 2009 at 3:42 pm

[re=466679]Katydid[/re]: Co-Cola, that is, as they say in Atlanta.

Chickensmack November 25, 2009 at 3:49 pm

[re=466558]whiskey tango foxtrot[/re]: I was wondering why the math was all wrong.

STORY + RECIPE (-non-period ingredients) * Jello (- lesbians rolling in it) / 0 qty alcohol = BULLSHIT.

One Yield Regular November 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm

No relation to Leonora, I’m assuming:

ericblair November 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm

[re=466552]thesheriffisnear[/re]: Yep, and it’s “Lorena.” Still funny, though.

thesheriffisnear November 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

[re=466619]RoscoePColtraine[/re]: Keeping with the grits theme: Do you prefer butter, salt and pepper or sugar and milk cause thats what Cream of Wheat is for. Cream of Wheat has a black man on the box, also.

thesheriffisnear November 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

[re=466679]Katydid[/re]: I like pumpkin pie. Not so much the biscuits and white gravy. By the way I’m from New Quahog and there was a Twinkie factory there.

Uncle Glenny November 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm

[re=466543]Mahousu[/re]: Yes, a red that intense existed. Cochineal. From beetles. Yum!

BeWoot November 25, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Mamie Eisenhower liked it rough. (David Letterman said so.)

Mr Blifil November 25, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Never, never, never let fucking Jell-O set in a freezer. Why would anybody be in such a goddamn hurry? You’re going to have a myocardial infarction or some shit. Speeding up the setting of gelatin is a fucking punk move. Don’t do it. Wait for it to set in the fridge like a fucking normal person, and then get a brain moran.

Again, Jell-O in the freezer is not a good practice, don’t fucking do it. Honestly what more demonstration does one need of what ceding victory to the terrists is going to feel like?

LowerdPeninsula November 26, 2009 at 2:03 am

I love how “small-ish” has become an actual unit of measurement.

Dolmance November 26, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I kid you not, Mamie wouldn’t allow Jews at her dinner table.

NYNYNY November 27, 2009 at 1:59 am

[re=466679]Katydid[/re]: The deal is called ‘I shit, you eat my shit.’ The GOP and America have worked out a similar deal.

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