Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snowmen and Jello - Christmas

Two Glad Grandboys
While we are waiting for Christmas and preparing our gifts, and thinking about what Santa and our parents are preparing for us, children are lucky if we have some snow around with which to build a snowman or snowlady.

My own grandchildren sometimes have that. But when I was a child, I only had the beloved "Frosty the Snowman" 45 to play on my little record player.

It's the only record I remember from my youth until I bought such ones as "Like a Rolling Stone," and I listened to the Frosty tale over and over so that I can still hear the voice -- maybe it was Red Foley -- in my head. On the other side he sang "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The image below is not quite like what I owned, but it evokes the memory well enough.

I remain snowless, and don't mind a bit. Besides, I can watch "The Snowman" on video. Those who lack the technology for watching movies (and I know there must be some of those people still, though they are probably not the ones reading this) could read the wordless book The Snowman.

But the video is so enchanting, with its haunting tune. The first time I borrowed the movie from the library, it was a version with the song, but since then I have only found it with a purely instrumental score. We are all fortunate now, and I am more than pleased, because I can share with you what I found on YouTube, a clip that includes sung lyrics of "Walking in the Air."

When I turned fifty a friend took me browsing in a quilt shop to pick out a few pieces of fabric as a birthday present from her. Several prints called to mind images from the adventures of the snowman and his little boy, and I took rectangles of them home with a theme brewing.

I sewed by hand several potholders that I call my Snowman Potholders. Of course, they have nothing to do with Christmas, except for their frequent role in pulling pies out of the oven for Christmas dinner.

Waiting....We Orthodox are still waiting until December 25 (or January 7) for the feast and waiting to feast, because we are preparing our hearts, which are tightly bound to our bodies. But participation in the Advent fast needn't mean that children of any age must forgo all goodies. I made this festive rainbow jello for one Christmas Day, but while we are still fasting it seems to me it could easily be made with some soy or coconut milk replacing the small dairy part of the recipe.


1 (3 oz.) package (each flavor) raspberry, lime, orange, lemon, and strawberry Jell-O

6-1/4 cups water
1-1/4 cups evaporated milk

Dissolve raspberry Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water. Remove 1/2 of Jell-O to a bowl and add 1/4 cup cold water. Place into a 9-inch square pan. Place in refrigerator until slightly firm. To the remaining half of Jell-O, add 1/4 cup evaporated milk. Cool and place over slightly firm layer in pan. Continue procedure with remaining flavors of Jell-O in this order: lime, orange, lemon, and strawberry. Cool each mixture before layering. Chill completely. Cut into squares to serve. Yield: serves 8 to 12. 

Now I'm trying to figure out how to tweak this colorful recipe into a frozen dessert. It already has the brightness of Tolkien's wintery image, and I think I might attract my snowmen friends to my holiday table if I just advertise that for dessert we are serving a treat called "Northern Lights."

(This is the third in my contributions to Pom Pom's Childlike Christmas Party.)


Harmony said...

Loved this! Definitely evocative of my own (late) childhood Christmases.

Michelle M. said...

That dessert looks so festive!

Floss said...

I love the rainbow jelly, and to hear about your Othodox preparations. I'm living in a culture which celebrates differently (a Protestant living in ultra-secular France) and I can kind of imagine how it must be to be working to different calendar than the people around you. Fascinating - thanks!

Carolyn Phillips said...

Love that jelly, and really good to hear how you celebrate.

Pom Pom said...

I like how the Englishwomen call Jello jelly, don't you?
Oh, The Snowman. We love it here. I remember listening to Frosty the Snowman, too. I also remember reading the story. Thank you for a wonderful post!

Sarah in Indiana said...

Where I live we usually have at least a few opportunities for snowmen. I have been thankful that it has been very warm here so far. We've had lots of rain, but only one short lived dusting of snow. Of course, it's not officially winter until next week. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy stories of snowmen, like you.

Gumbo Lily said...

I know of Frosty the Snowman and was very fond of that myself, but I especially liked Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. I don't know about The Snowman, but I will find it out through you.

The rainbow jello looks so fun! I might have to try it this year. Maybe you could try freezing a small batch of jello and see what happens to the texture.


Gigi said...

Funny sweet memories GJ! I think I jumped from Haley Mills records to Beatles ;).
Love the stripey jello! My grands would love it too -- must make some when I get out West.
Have a merry and blessed Christmas!
♥ ♥ ♥

Marfa said...

I love all the snowmen stuff...and am trying to be patient for snow. It's frustrating. We've had SO much rain lately.
The jello looks beautiful...

magsmcc said...

This is the first time in three years that we haven't had deep snow- although before that there would not have been snow until January. But because it's really only in the last few years that the suns have been old enough to articulate their depest thoughts, now this snow is expected! I'm still hoping, still a week to go! I'm very impressed with the rainbow!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

We don't often get snow at Christmas here, though the children are always hopeful. Will has just informed me that he has never seen "The Snowman," so I must have watched it with Jack. Your jell-o/jelly is marvelous!


wheatgerm said...

I love the snowman

margaret said...

I can't remember Frosty the Snowman from childhood at all but it is definitely my favourite quickstep!

BrightSoul said...

I love reading your Blog...when I saw the snowman and the Frosty it took me back to California winters, my mother reading while it rained and I wondering what it would be like to build a I've lived in the far North for 43 years and had snow everywhere for 7-8 months and have just moved South...I LOVE green, rainy, foggy Christmas!