July 4th: Recipes for Independence Day

So, if you’ve been a reader for the last year, you should know what I think you should have for July 4th: 5 Days of Pulled Pork!

If you haven’t been a reader that long (which, let’s face it, most of you haven’t based on my number of views then, and my number of views now) then you should follow this link, so you can enjoy recipes that look like this.

(Ooh, ahhh…)

“But, Ed,” I hear you saying, “you left out dessert. What should we stuff our faces with after all that delicious pulled pork?”

Well, I have your answer! And since you will probably be very full and tired from dinner, this recipe is a light jell-o recipe

that won’t weigh you down, AND it you can make it ahead, so all you have to do after dinner is remove it from the fridge, garnish, and eat!

Independence Day Jell-O

This is a traditional July 4th dessert treat that is often made in a flag mold. Whatever you do, do NOT buy a flag mold. Over thirty dollars for a cheap plastic mold you might be able to use twice is not worth it. Just use your rectangular brownie pan or casserole dish. A little bit of clever decoration will get it looking like a flag in no time. Don’t be afraid of all the steps. They are really just the same steps, repeated. Once you get the hang of it, it goes fast. Just be sure to start at least an five hours before serving for the proper amount of refrigeration time!

You can also make individual portions in cups, bowls, or martini glasses! Just as tasty without the fuss!

1 small package of blueberries

2 six ounce packages of red jell-o (any flavor) 

2 six ounce packages of blue jell-o (any flavor)


1 six ounce package lemon jell-o

1 sixteen ounce tub of non-dairy whipped topping (such as cool-whip,) thawed

3 ¾ cups pineapple juice, refrigerated
 (This adds more than just your average jell-o flavor to the dish. You could also substitute half of this pineapple juice for rum for a more adult dessert.)

7 ½ cups boiling water 
 

  1. Spray 13” x 9” pan with non-stick spray. If you have one, you may also use a flag mold for an even greater flag-like appearance.
  2. Make the red jell-o. In a large bowl, stir 3 cups of boiling water into red gelatin until dissolved. About 2 minutes
  3. Once dissolved, stir in 1 ½ cups cold pineapple juice. Pour into the 13” x 9” pan or flag mold.
  4. Refrigerate pan for 1 hour. (The red jell-o is made first, because it will be at the top after unmolding.)

  5. Make the lemon jell-o. Wash the large bowl or use a new bowl to make the next batch of gelatin. You don’t want the colors to mix. In this bowl, stir 1 ½ cups boiling water into the lemon jell-o.
  6. Once dissolved, stir in ¾ cup cold pineapple juice. Refrigerate the lemon jell-o in the bowl for 30 minutes. This should thicken the jell-o, but not set it completely. The lemon jell-o should be the consistency of egg whites.
  7. Fold in 8 ounces (about half the tub) of cool whip to the bowl with the thickened lemon jell-o. This will make the jell-o white as well as give it a nice flavor and texture. Pour the mixture over the set red jell-o.
  8. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
  9. Make the blue jell-o. Stir 3 cups of boiling water into blue jell-o until dissolved.
  10. Once dissolved, stir in 1 ½ cups cold pineapple juice. Pour over hardened jell-o in the pan.
  11. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  12. Remove the jell-o from the pan by sliding a butter knife around the edges. Carefully flip the gelatin onto a serving platter.
  13. To get a more defined, flag-like appearance, trim the edges of the jell-o with a sharp long knife.
  14. Decorate the top left corner with blueberries in a square pattern (you may have to trim the bottoms of the blueberries to get them to stay.) Then, create the white stripes. Fill a pastry bag (or a large Ziploc bag with a hole cut in one corner) with non-dairy whipped topping and create flag-like stripes across the jell-o flag.

This recipe may also be halved and put into cocktail glasses or ice cream dishes and topped with fruit for a simpler Independence Day treat.

Tip for getting that darn jell-o out of the pan in one piece: Dip jell-o mold in warm water for about 15 seconds. Gently pull gelatin from around edges with moist finger. Place moistened platter on top of jell-o mold. Invert mold and platter quickly. Holding mold and platter together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold; center gelatin on platter.

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