Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jell-O as Food and Architecture

I know...this is a postcard blog and these aren't postcards. I just couldn't help myself. A little diversion is good every now and then, especially if it's a Jell-O diversion. I have harbored a secret desire to visit the Jell-O Museum in LeRoy, New York ever since I discovered there was such a thing. In the meantime, I'll just have to be satisfied with these Jell-O recipe folders.

Recently I suggested to the man who steals my covers that I might like to make the recipe for Thrifty Salad from one of the folders. He was less than encouraging and made some idle threats, so it hasn't happened yet.

O.K., maybe the recipe is a little odd, but they used real fruit flavoring in Jell-O back then, so it might actually have been tasty. It must have been or they wouldn't have received all of these gold medals:

Jell-O is wonderfully architectural, so I guess it should come as no surprise that people want to construct things out of it. Still, to make a replica of the entire City of San Francisco out of Jell-O! A California Artist by the name of Liz Hickok has done that and more by meticulously creating her own forms and making a miniature model of the city. Here are some pictures of her San Francisco 
creations. The first one is Alamo Square. I think you can just see the Transamerica Pyramid in the background.
 This picture shows the Ferry Building:
Yes, it's a little wobbly. And here's a view of the whole city from Alcatraz:
Don't worry about the possibility of an earthquake, because Jell-O buildings are much more resilient than wood and concrete ones. A hot tidal wave would be truly disastrous though. To see more of Liz's work, click here.


  1. Jell-O is neither a liquid nor a solid, but it sure is fun! Great post.

  2. There are good salads and bad salads made from Jello. Most of the recipes I have seen are bad.

  3. Ooooh: that recipe made me queasy just reading the jello cities though!

  4. This was a great post even though it wasn't about an actual postcard...loved it! I think it still counts. Brought back some memories of childhood Jello experiences!

  5. Wow! Who knew there was a Jell-O museum? I love old recipes and old jell-o recipes, but the thrifty salad is very unappealing. I think it's the picture with the peas that's the worst thing - or maybe knowing there's salmon inside . . .

    There's a recipe for jell-o with twinkies suspended in the center in the Sterns' Square Meals cookbook, I've always wanted to try it just to see how it looks. Maybe this will be the nudge I need. And, I love the jell-o cities!

  6. Well, it looks like nobody thinks the Thrifty Salad is a good idea. I guess what I really want is aspic. I think most people don't really like that either, but I do! Jell-O with twinkies suspended in it is hilarious and definitely worth trying.

  7. Hey, you told me the salad had strawberry Jello in it, that's why I balked... And if you had mentioned the name was 'Thrifty' salad, I might even have suggested it for dinner tonight- always up for saving a buck, even if it is potentially at the expense of my taste buds!

  8. Found your site through Janine as well. Love the old postcards. My Wife collects them as well. We'll be following. Thank You!

  9. These are wonderful! Jello is one of the few foods that looks good in old illustrations and photographs, even if they have stuck peas inside. The colors always look fun.

    And the San Francisco is Jello is great. I think I remember reading about this a year or so ago, but had forgotten how great it looks. I'd say the quake is already happening when you look at that Ferry Building.

  10. Hey "Anonymous" -- I think you should not stifle the gastric creativity of the one from whom you steal covers in the night... you may not know what kind of retribution she may have for you!

    Great post -- postcards or not! Thanks for the treat! Karin

  11. Hey, both you anonymouses...
    It's true, especially after the twinkie suggestion. What it amounts to is that all manner of things can be suspended in jell-O.

  12. Well, from one anonymous to another, the label is apparently not very effective, especially when you sign your name Karin! I think that the covers situation is being misrepresented- the author of said blog recently asked, "why do you keep throwing all the covers off of you, aren't you cold?", which I think might shine a different light on who the real cover thief is. And while C.H. may be the winner in culinary creativity, I am definitely the master of all things gastric...

  13. That Jello San Francisco is fantastic. I wonder how long it lasted?
    I belong to a book club and the members always bring very gourmet-type dishes to the meetings. A new member just brought a Jello salad. No one said anything but I think I could read their thoughts.



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