Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jell-Oh No! Snacks

I love when we're visiting my nephews and they want fruit snacks. One for nephew. One for me. One for nephew. One for me. It works out quite well in my opinion. I almost bought me my own box of fruit snacks the other day. I don't know why I didn't...I should have. In fact, they sound really really good right now. If I were brave like Hannah, I'd try to make my own. 

Who is Hannah you ask? Hannah is today's awesome submitter, and she has a great story for you today. 

Back in early December, Hannah was craving some fruit snacks, but was locked in by the weather. Good thing she had seen a pin on Pinterest with instructions on how to make your own at home!

The Original Pin
Aren't those pretty?! Mmmm. 

Here's how Hannah's attempt turned out:

The Pinstrosity

Here is what she had to say about this:

Fail #1: Not knowing the difference between plain gelatin and Jell-O mix. The recipe called for a 3-ounce package of cherry Jell-O, which I didn’t have, and because I’m snowed/iced in today I wasn’t going to go out and buy it. Instead, I used 3 ounces of plain gelatin. I didn’t realize until afterward that Jell-O mix has way less gelatin in it than 3 ounces.
Fail #2: The gelatin itself. We have this generic bulk gelatin in our cupboard that I think we got from  an Amish store in Oklahoma. When I put it in the pan with the water, I immediately began to smell it cooking. It smelled like a barnyard. And then it hit me, this gelatin smelled likeHORSES. I’ve had the argument before with people who say gelatin is made out of horse/cow hooves, and my opinion so far has been that it CANNOT be true. But, my friends, you are looking at a horse-gelatin convert.
I’m scarred for life. That stuff smelled like HORSES. I put in Kool-Aid flavoring to keep it from deterring my plans, but I still can’t get the smell out of my head.
Fail #3: The clean-up. After having recovered from the horse smell, I let the mixture dissolve in the pan and prepared to empty the contents into a Tupperware container. As soon as I took it off the stove, however, it was already setting in the pan. I hurried to get it all out, but most of it stuck to EVERYTHING. It was like this stuff called Goooze that was really popular in the early 2000s, you could play with it like Play-Doh but it was more like an amoeba than dough.
Yet another non-food comparison that wasn’t making these horse-hide fruit snacks very appetizing. Anyway, when I finally got the most of it in the container, I tried to wash off the utensils and pan the best I could. And when I tell you the stuff was not coming off, it would’ve taken the government of an entire country to exile that stuff out of the pan. I had hot water running and Bon Ami in the pan and it wasn’t coming off!! My mom finally put the pan back on the stove and got it to come off, but I’m never making fruit snacks this way again.
Fail #4: The finished product does not cut well. Instead it kind of stayed in this plastic-like sheet when I peeled it out of the plastic container. My mom got the idea to cut it with scissors because our knife wasn’t working. When it came out it looked like a mousepad. When we cut it, it looked like a cut up horse-hoof-gelatin mousepad. Not delicious fruit snacks. :(
Fail #5: Not edible. As mentioned above, the stuff didn’t even cut with a sharp knife. We tried eating it and the taste wasn’t so bad, but it was like chewing on dense rubber, like those little sticky hands you get out of the gumball machine. Not that I’ve eaten sticky hands from a gumball machine, but I got the full experience today. Ugh.
Needless to say, I was disappointed. And will be staying away from gelatin for a while. At least until I can forget the barnyard smell that was wafting from my kitchen.
Eat real fruit, guys. It’s easier. It’s cleaner. It’s less horsing around. 
No longer horsing around with homemade fruit snacks,
Hannah H.http://secondhandpoem.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/pinterest-fail-of-the-year/

If we hadn't used all our unflavored gelatin for making jellies and syrups in October (love me some prickly pear jelly!), I'd run in the kitchen and try this out myself right now. Perhaps I'll have to pick up gelatin while I'm in town tomorrow, because this sounds yummy! 


  1. I think unflavored gelatin is going to smell a little meat-like even if you use name-brand Knox. I don't know about your odd amish gelatin, but I work with knox and jello brand a lot and could offer some tips.

    First off, instead of comparing by bulk, swap out gelatin and jello with each other by comparing how much you need per cup of water. The smaller jello boxes need 2 cups of water, and a packet of knox gelatin needs 1 cup. So, 2 packets unflavored gelatin = roughly 1 box of jello. (A straight volume to volume substitution won't work well because jello brand has sugar in the powder mix and gelatin does not.)

    Second, when working with gelatin, it does seem a bit thicker than jello, which is something I like about it. If you found it distasteful, maybe try 1.5 packets to 2 cups of water instead. Another thing gelatin will do that jello doesn't is continue to harden over the course of a few days, so if you don't plan to eat it right away, you should mix an even softer ratio.

    I've never heard of a gelatin mixture setting that quickly or being so hard to clean up. That must have to do with how much gelatin used. I just checked my box of gelatin and it's 8 oz with 32 envelopes, meaning 4 envelopes = 1 oz, and to get 3 oz you'd need to use 12 envelopes. I think you actually made glue, instead of food.

    If I were you, that is if you haven't thrown out your finished product yet, I would try soaking them in a little water, remelting them in a larger pot and adding at least another cup of water, maybe more. The recipe calls for 1 small box jello + 2 packets of knox, which is equivalent to 4 cups of water's worth when making normal jello. You used 12 cups worth, I think, with only 1/2 cup of water! To get the ratio the recipe calls for you need to add at least 1 cup of water, but that still seems like too little to me.

    1. I do think I made glue instead of delicious fruit snacks. I blame it on the cabin fever and being iced into my house for too long. :P

  2. ROFL...thinking I won't be eating any Jello or Jello like substances for a while now either! Gotta love a good fail though...

  3. I think it's made from bones and tendons. I guess that could mean hooves, too. I know hoof clippings can smell god-awful if your dog chews them or something. Wikipedia says so. Ha, ha. Anyway, I assume that that's why my chicken broth sometimes gels when it cools, since it's made from boiled chicken carcasses. (It's also why vegetarians don't eat marshmallows, etc.--they're made with gelatin.)

  4. D:
    Seriously, that sounds terribly disgusting!

  5. You could try using agar instead - I decided to try making my tropical fruit pudding with agar because it sets at room temperature and its vegetarian friendly. The texture is a bit different (more spongy) and best of all, agar is made from seaweed, so, worst case scenario, your kitchen might smell slightly salty (in a good way).

    You can also use pineapple, mango or papaya juice, because agar is a polysaccharide, not a protein, so the enzymes in those don't digest it.

    1. Ooh, I'll have to look into that. I love tropical fruits, and I love jello. I've always been a little sad that I couldn't combine them.


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