Friday, August 6, 2010


rainbow jello

Most gay pride events take place in June. But just like independent movies and fashion trends that don't involve fleece, gay pride takes a little longer to make its way to Colorado Springs. So, in late July, we found ourselves planning a pre-pride brunch. On the menu were chocolate chip pancakes and breakfast pizza (yums). But this celebration needed a little rainbow kick. The idea of turning on the oven in 97 degree weather was unbearable, so the original plan for rainbow cupcakes was nixed.

Which was fine, because I had Jell-O on the brain. Whether it is jelly, gelatin, Jell-O or aspic, it has been wobbling back into the cultural/culinary zeitgeist. Part kitsch and part chemistry, it is the ultimate food you're allowed to play with. And, holy moly, people are doing some amazing stuff with gelatin. If you've never seen the work of Bompas & Parr, then you're in for a jiggly treat. And let's marvel at this year's Gowanus Studio Space Jell-O Mold Competition. I'm sort of in love with the Jell-O-ware idea. Also, their "Keep Calm and Wobble On" poster might be the best spoof I've seen of the ubiquitous "Keep Calm" design.

Which brings us to rainbow Jell-O. Let's face it, you don't need to be CIA (no, the other one) trained to make Jell-O; but there are a couple of ways to go about making rainbow gelatin. Because Jell-O is semi-transparent, you could just layer red, green and blue gelatin to make a rainbow (science!). I wanted each color to be really distinct (also, bright and vivid), so I chose to use six different colors/flavors and add opaque layers. 

jello boxes

1. Mix up your first color/flavor of Jell-O according to package directions and pour approximately half of the mixture into your choice of vessel(s). Refrigerate.

2. While the previous layer is setting up, add a couple of tablespoons of condensed milk to the remaining half of the mixture. Once your translucent layer is mostly firm, add your opaque layer, making sure the mixture is cooled to room temp. Refrigerate.

3. Repeat steps 2 and 3. Over and over and over (you could even make a double rainbow, intense). I chose to start and end with translucent layers. 

This isn't hard but it is time consuming. Oh, and because this was a grown-up gathering, I did add a little bit of vodka to the berry flavors and a bit of gin to the citrus flavors. I didn't want these to be huge Jell-O shots, so there was only the equivalent of a shot in each 10 oz cup.

rainbow jello       jello model

I think Bill Cosby would approve.


lookatthestar said...

I approved this too! haha..well I was more attracted by the color instead of the urge to eat it. Its to damn pretty to be eaten..haha

btw..I love your blog! =)

lynbat said...

These are great! Can I post the picture of your rainbow jellos on my blog? I know this is an older post, but think it would fit in great. My blog is


Xanapus said...

I love this idea. I was going to make a mold for a gay pride event in town but I think the dixie cups make it even more special and everyone gets their own cup instead of cutting into a mold. Perfection! Thanks for the recipe.