Hey, now. Get your hands out of your pants, I’m talking about Jell-O. But not the regular sugar/flavor/water kind either, this is about the fun kind. The kind that you couldn’t imagine in your youth while getting excited about the Jell-O Jigglers recipe that Bill Cosby was singing about. I’m talking about shots. Jell-O shots in case you are not following.
A few years ago a friend of mine was hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at her house near the Irish Channel parade route and I was more than excited to participate by bringing libations and/or food because I love to cook. I was in the Susie Homemaker stage of post-breakup (this was the first break up of the he-who-would-become Sometimes Boyfriend saga) and I was pretty sure that I was no longer heartbroken and definitely game to create something spectacular for the affair. Fortunately for me, my prayers were answered. Someone found a recipe for Irish Car Bomb Jell-O shots and shared the link on the Facebook event and voila, I was all signed up to make them. Shortly thereafter, I was avoiding screaming children while attempting to navigate my cart down the scary aisles of Wal-Mart because I was told from a friend that I could find the correct size plastic cups with lids there.
Here’s the gist of it. You don’t use Jell-O, you use (gasp) gelatin to get the texture and the whole recipe gets made in two parts. The first part is the Guinness part. You have to let that set in the refrigerator all the way before adding the second part, the Jameson and Bailey’s mixture, that becomes the top layer. Very exciting, I know. But here’s the catch. The recipe gives you a range of gelatin to liquid proportion “depending on how hard you like your Jell-O.” And honestly, I really didn’t have an answer to this. I looked at the recipe again and thought about it. The end result was “I guess pretty hard?” I didn’t want it runny and I really had no point of reference because the Jell-O brand kind gives very specific instructions that I doubt I’ve ever strayed from. (Because it is literally the sugar mixture and hot + cold water.) I know I wasn’t 100% on this but what the hell, its festive and for a party and I’m making them! Wohoo!
It turns out, you do not like Jell-O very hard. You want it less hard as evidenced by the bottom layer of my Irish Car Bomb shots. I mean that part was rough to take down. It was chewy. Ugh. I mean really you had to use some chompers on it. Thanks to everyone who battled through the bottom layer because, well, they did look very cool. On the upside, the top layer was a little runny. This basically came because I had less gelatin leftover in the box than for the first layer and I decided “to Hell with this recipe” and put the whole bottle of Jameson in the recipe thus extra diluting the ratio. This worked out because the bottom hard layer could just get tossed out with the cup and we could all just enjoy the pudding-like Jamo & Bailey’s treat on top. Win.
This brings me to today. Well not actually today, yesterday to be accurate. It is Carnival and last night, my dear friend was in charge of leading a group (again) to make 1,000 Jell-O shots so that we can all have a grand old time while we parade. Fortunately for her, I arrived fresh with a positive attitude because, let me tell you, I probably made 50 (100?) of the others and it seemed like a lot at the time. I just browsed through my phone and social media but I can’t figure it out because even though I know I took a photo, it seems to have been taken before my Instagram account. I’ve told you, technology – not my thing.
Regardless, what I AM good at – is organizing and making Jell-O shots. I fresh attitude and some tunes and a few friends and BAM! 1,000 Jell-O shots fill another New Orleans refrigerator and we keep calm and party on. For all of you newbies out there, it is a 1-1 ratio so get your vodka out and start mixing it with some simmering water and colorful flavoring, I promise it won’t be too hard.