12 February, 2008

Prepping Floors with Grandma's Strawberry Jello Chiffon

"This stuff reminds me of chiffon," I said, scooping up a fluffy glob of the floor patch and leveling compound and slopping it onto the sub floor.

Mom stood in the doorway to her old sewing room, taking a break from painting the hall trim . "I haven't heard that word in years. Do people even make that anymore?"

"I dunno. I don't think I've had it since high school, maybe. Doesn't it look good?" If it didn't reek to high heaven with this wonderful, chemically adhesive smell, and it if wasn't so, well, gray in color, the compound could pass as a dessert.

Thwarted from working on the floors over the weekend because people came to look at my mom's house, I had finally found a spare moment to patch her sewing room floor where the old vinyl tiles had pulled up some splinters of sub floor.

The patch stuff is very easy to work with; using a trowel, I slapped it on the floor and spread it out thin, pushing it into the gouges and grooves. It does form a pretty smooth surface. And just look at that floor! The compound really brings out the grain of the plywood.

"We could leave it as it," I suggested. "Finish it like that guy on the DIY show we saw that one time." Like any good mom, she knew exactly what I meant without need of further elaboration. A few weeks ago, we watched some guy painstakingly carve grooves into his sub floor and stain it blue in an attempt to make it look like cottage-style hardwood floors. He thought it looked good. He may be the only one.

"No way," Mom said. "When will it be ready to put tile down?"

Because I rarely read the full instructions of a product until I've already started to use it, I didn't realize it would take 24 hours to dry.

"Okay, quitting time!"

Rather than catching up on client projects, I decided to try Marilyn's Quiche Recipe for dinner. Ted went shopping with me at Meyer's to get the ingredients, and looked on in horror as I loaded up the cart with full-fat cream, gruyere, bacon, and butter. "What are you trying to do, kill us?" he asked. But it was soooooooooooooo good. (There are not enough o's to convey just how yummy it was.) I made a citrus salad to go with it to pretend we were eating healthy. (By make it I mean I opened the pre-packaged salad bag and expertly mixed up the ingredients.)

This is my second-favorite of my mom's bowls. We use it for everything, from mixing cookie dough to serving up pop corn. I think it's nearly as old as I am.

Grandma's chiffon would have made a nice accompaniment, but I don't know what her exact recipe for strawberry chiffon was; she died when I was only ten years old and mom can't remember the exact method. I do know Grandma used gelatin and powdered milk, so I searched the Internet and found this version, which looks and sounds about right. Rather than put it in a pie shell, Grandma would spoon it into dessert dishes. I give you what may (or may not) have been my Grandma's recipe for Strawberry Chiffon. (I may just lie to the nieces and nephews and tell them this was their Great Grandma Emma's recipe.)


1 prebaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie crust
1 1/4 cups (10-ounce package) frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed and drained, reserving juice
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1 envelope (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
1/3 cup ice water
1/3 cup dry NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Instant Non-fat Dry Milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Freeze small mixer bowl and beaters. Pour 1/2 cup water into small bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and flour in small saucepan. Add strawberry juice and gelatin mixture; mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour into large mixer bowl. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until thick and syrupy, but not set. Beat ice water and dry milk in chilled bowl for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add remaining lemon juice and beat for 3 to 4 minutes or until stiff. Fold in 2 tablespoons sugar; blend on low speed. With wire whisk, mix whipped topping into strawberry mixture. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Stay tuned: Tomorrow We Finally Finish the Sewing Room Floor


Marilyn said...

Oh, Joanne, your quiche looks perfect and cholesterol-icious! So glad you enjoyed it. Plus, who doesn't go for Chiffon Pie?

By the way - I'm originally a Wilmette girl, and went to culinary school at Kendall. I miss the lake. Go have a Walker Brothers breakfast for me!

Joanne said...

I heard the Walker Bros. breakfasts are good.

BTW--My fiance is from the KC area; he did his undergrad in Lawrence. We make it out that way occasionally; it's a great college town. Rock Chalk...Jayhawk!

Karen Anne said...

I remember making a strawberry chiffon pie decades ago when I was learning to cook. The recipe was in Betty Crocker's cookbook, the ones that have plaid covers and I think are updated and reissued periodically. It sounds like about the right vintage.