Tonight is a rare occasion in the Treehouse: a church potluck dinner. Due to a combination of food preferences, intolerances and food poisoning experiences (not at this church, just in general), we usually beg off from these things. However, this is a starting-the-holidays celebration, and Ponytails is reading a poem after the meal, so it's important to go. And I needed to come up with a dessert.
A plain cake would probably have done fine, but I was looking through some recipes and thinking about all the potlucks I went to when I was younger, at another church. I loved those dinners, even the strange casseroles (well, not the ones with Veg-All in them). (Grandma Squirrel says that she thinks some people would just put their whole week's leftovers in a casserole dish and poured a can of tomato soup over them.)
In my browsing, I came across this recipe for Lemon Delight--one of those fluffy panfuls-of-stuff that I have hardly ever made myself but which were pretty common at those potlucks. And look at that--we had everything right there in the house for it, even on the day before grocery day. Even a can of evaporated milk, which I hardly ever have around.
So Ponytails and I made it. I had my doubts about whether that 2% milk would whip up stiff in the food processor, but it worked. We left a bit of filling aside just so we could taste it first without cutting into the pan--and the Squirrelings agree that this is very good. Sweet, but good.
Ruby’s Lemon Delight (Schmecks Appeal: More Mennonite Country Cooking, by Edna Staebler)
2 cups graham wafer crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1 box lemon Jell-O powder
½ cup boiling water
1 large can evaporated milk (must be icy cold to whip) [I opened a can of 2% evaporated milk, poured it into a shallow container, and let it sit in the freezer for half an hour. By that time, the edges were starting to get frozen. If you had more time, you could just put it in the fridge.]
½ cup sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Mix graham wafer crumbs with brown sugar and butter. Pack two-thirds of the mixture in the bottom of an unbuttered 9 x 13” pan. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water and set aside to cool. [A note on the Jell-O: don't make it too soon. By the time I went to add it right at the end, the Jell-O in the bottom of the bowl had started to set.] Whip chilled evaporated milk until stiff [I used the whip attachment on the food processor, but regular beaters might be quicker. It also might help if you chilled the bowl and the beaters as well.]. Add sugar and lemon juice and rind, then beat in the Jell-O. Pour the mixture over the crumbs in the pan. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over top and chill in refrigerator for 3 hours, or in freezer for 1 hour. Cut into squares to serve.
This post is linked from Potluck Saturday at The Common Room.
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