So, today I was hanging out with the son of a friend of mine. We were making some play-dough together with flour, salt, water, oil, and cream of tartar.
L: Do you want to make it COLORFUL?!
S: SI! OUI! YES!
My friend is french. Her partner is Italian. Their son speaks french, italian, and, well, with me, some english.
I run to the larder. I should be embarrassed to admit, but I'm not, that David and I have a considerable collection of jell-o - in every flavor. I grab lime and raspberry.
We rip open the little bags of powdered magic. I start dumping the lime in my lump of dough. My little friend rips open the raspberry, looks in, looks at me, then instinctively licks his index finger and makes the plunge. Needless to say, my young pal took a break from kneading the flour concoction in front of him to go to that heavenly place that only raw jell-o directly from packet to mouth can take you.
Immediately I was transported to 1977 when jello packets were the preferred after school snack of my sister and me. If I had a tv, I would have instinctively searched the channels to find a rerun of Emergency or Gillian's Island.
The moral of the story...a)American culture is so easily exported, or, my preferred, b) the allure of jell-o is freakin' universal. I don't doubt that if I had a little Aborigine boy from the Outback in my kitchen today, he would have done the EXACT same thing.
Ok, full disclosure, when the kid's parents came to pick him up I didn't disclose the exact product that he had eaten, even though they noticed and commented on his neon red lips. I don't really feel badly about that. I do, however feel a little bad that the little dude was finger dip-sticking in sugar-free jell-o and I didn't tell him that there's an even better version out there in the big world.
Vive le Jell-O!!!