Sunday, 26 January 2014

Carrying Wood and Cranberry Jello

A famous Zen saying states "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
I thought of this as the temperatures dropped again overnight and this morning the outside feels like stepping into your freezer.  While I am not chopping wood or carrying water, I am carrying wood and lots of it from the pile in the garage to the kitchen wood stove.   As for the enlightenment part, that has given me pause.  I wonder what exactly consists of enlightenment in this world.  If it can mean awareness and open-mindedness, I think I'm somewhat enlightened.  However, genuine epiphanies for me have been few and far between; and if it means sophistication or refinement, then I think I am smack out of luck.  How sophisticated or refined can you look holding an armload of wood chunks?

I've been meaning to share with you this recipe that did not quite work out for me and I share it because I really like the ingredients and it did taste good.  But I used substitutes which may have affected the outcome.
 The recipe was in O Magazine, November 2013 issue and it is Gayle King's Mother's recipe for Cranberry Jello.
You need 1 box strawberry jello, 1 can jellied cranberry sauce, 1 container frozen strawberries in sugar, defrosted, 1 or 2 apples cut into small cubes.  In a large bowl, add 2 cups boiling water to the jello, stir.  Fold in defrosted strawberries, including the syrup, and lastly, the apples.  Pour into a bowl large enough to hold it all or a Bundt pan.  Refrigerate until use. 
I substituted a number of things in this recipe.  I used the light version of the jello, the one with no calories; I also used non-sweetened strawberries and sweetened them myself.  Whatever the cause, my mixture did not set; it remained a floppy mixture that while it tasted good, it did not look that great.  I was not able to upturn it on a plate for a nice presentation.  However, maybe you could try it and stick to the original directions and hopefully, have success.