green jello

every year the dish looms before me on the thanksgiving buffet, its lurid contents lurking, watching for the next innocent plate to appear.

the cheese, of course, is what you notice first, so it seems innocuous enough until the moment you take the serving spoon in hand only to discover that beneath that shag carpet topping lies a jiggly layer of electric green.

“what … is it?” the newcomers ask.

“it’s green jello!” comes the cheerful family chorus. “you MUST have some!”

green jello — lime jello, to be precise — hiding tinned pears within, itself all secreted beneath a layer of miracle whip and shredded american cheese. a time warp back to 1955, if you ever wondered what a year tasted like.

every year it looms before me, and every year i feel a little guilty about not taking a spoonful, even though i’ve never liked it.

but it’s blevins jello; we must have some. people wed and people die, people break up and people are born. the table sees a different set of folks each year, some of whom will never return.

so go on, try it. it’s our family recipe, the one someone will always make, regardless of popularity, until none of us are left.

i scooped a small portion onto my plate today and tried it; it wasn’t as bad as i remembered.