Growing up, my Grandmother would make coffee jello for dessert. I thought it was a hugely special occasion when the coffee jello made in a red pyrex dish came out of the refrigerator. Little did I know that it meant my Grandparents had not finished the pot of coffee the day before.
Coffee jello was a way to use leftovers plain and simple. My Grandmother would not sweeten it and would serve it with real whipped cream or sometimes she sprinkled it with sugar and just poured some milk over it. No matter how she served it I loved it!
Yesteday I made a full pot of coffee from a package of Duncan Donut coffee I received over the holidays. My company did not show up and I was left with a full pot I could not drink. A bright light went off in my head and I ran for our family cookbook. There it was. Mamie's recipe for coffee jello. Although I would like to hold this recipe secret for eternity and think only I could taste it and relish the flavor, I am going to share it. You are lucky you tuned in today.
Mamie's Coffee Jello
2 envelopes of Knox gelatine
1/2 cup cold black strong coffee
3 cups hot black strong coffee
sugar is optional
Mix the gelatine with the cold coffee and let it sit for a few minutes. Add hot coffee and sugar and stir till all is melted. Cool jello till it sets.
Serve with whipped cream or sprinkle with sugar and pour milk or cream over jello to taste. Coffee jello can be eaten at any meal and if made without sugar is very low calorie. The stronger the coffee the better the jello in my opinion. (yes that is Mamie's bowl too! What a trip down memory lane.)
I received a bound book of the Marblehead Messenger printed in 1925 from my childhood friend, Margie or Tune as her family calls her, for Christmas. The large volume is a treasure trove of history, recipes, advertisements and snipits of information that I will share in blog articles this year. It is so special that I am considering making a cookbook comprised of long lost recipes. Margie has quite a few volumes and when I visited with her in October I had the opportunity to flip through some of her volumes. I found mention of family members and even found the birth announcement of my mother! What an exciting find!
Here are two more coffee flavored desserts from long ago made by very frugal people in 1925.
1925 Coffee Italian Cream
oen and one-half cups coffee, 1/2 cup milk, one envelope gelatine, yolks of 2 eggs, 3 teaspoons sugar, put the coffee in a double boiler with the gelatine. Beat the yolks and sugar thoroughly, add milk and stir this mixture into the hot coffee. After it is cooked like a soft custard remove from fire and add the two beaten whites of eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla and beat in with an egg-beater. Set away to harden and serve wth whipped chream
(notice the use of an egg-beater which would have been the hand crank version hardly used today and the term put away. In those days everyone still did not own a refrigerator so most homes had an ice box, cool room or pantry where items were placed to set.)
1925 Coffee Spanish Cream
Mix 1 1/2 cups boiled coffee, 1-2 cups milk, 1-3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon granulated gelatine and heat in a double boiler. Beat yolks of 3 eggs and addd 1-3 cups sugar and 1-4 teaspoon salt. Add to first mixtre and cook until thickened. Remove from fire until thickened. Remove from fire and add whites of 3 eggs beaten stiff and 1-2 teaspoon vanilla. Turn into molds: serve with cream when cold.
(notice term fire used instead of heat. Electric stoves were not available although some people had gas stoves. Others were still using wood stoves.)
1925 Iced Cafe Au Lait
Into tall glasses pour one cup of clear strong coffee. Add one large spoonful of vanilla ice cream. Servie with a long iced teaspoon which should be used to blend the ice cream and coffee. The classic variation is made by shaking in a cocktail shaker one cup clear coffee, a tablespoon of chocolate, two tablespoons whipped cream and three tablespoons chipped ice. Serve when well shaken. This is delicious served with sweet sandwiches or fluffy squares of angel cake.