Monday, August 16, 2010

What We Want: Lemon Desire

Well first, I know that several months ago in a blog entry I made disparaging remarks about dishes containing the wiggly, nutritionally null product Jello. And here I am today sharing a recipe containing this very item. I found a recipe in Grandma's small cursive written on a page of her cookbook. It is one of many recipes she added to her personal copy of the Mennonite Community Cookbook. This inquiry into Grandma's cooking adventures wouldn't be complete if I didn't explore some of the scrawled entries she deemed worthy of adding to her well-used cookbook.

Besides, the name Lemon Desire led me to wonder. It didn't seem to fit the mostly practical or descriptive titles within the cookbook. I pondered where it may have come from. I tried to think of an occassion where I might have heard my grandma use the word desire. I can't think of one time. In fact, I can't even think of one time I heard her say she wanted something. I am sure she did. She just didn't seem to think much about what was missing from her life. She seemed rather, to be content with what was. What did she want?

If I had to draw inferences from the life I observed, I'd say she wanted to see people treated with dignity and respect. I'd say she wanted to feel the sun on her face, to use her arms and legs to do good work and to walk humbly with God. That is what I think she wanted. Good food, good health, and the love of family were also likely on her list. I have to believe that she obtained those things in her life because from what I observed she didn't spend a lot of time chasing things that were just distractions. It is an example worth following.

So, here it is. Lemon Desire. If you don't like lemon the name is an oxymoron. If you like lemon, you will likely find some pleasure in this sweet and light dessert. But the pleasure is temporary. What do we really want? I think I know now, what I really want. To be grateful, each moment, for being exactly where I am.

Lemon Desire
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg lemon jello
1 1/4 cup hot water for jello
2 or 3 T lemon juice and grated lemon rind
1 can evaporated milk, chilled
2 cups graham crackers, crushed

Put 1/2 cups of graham crackers in a 9x9 pan. Make jello and chill until it starts to get firm. Whip evaporated milk and add juice and rind. Fold in jello. Pour on top of graham cracker crumbs. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumbs on top. Chill until serving.

Hoping you find your heart's desire,


  1. Saw your scramble post some time ago. My mom (from eastern PA) and now the rest of us kids have been making that for many years. She found her recipe tonight and noted that it is dated December 1953 from Better Homes and Gardens magazine!

  2. which size of jello just give "box"...but which box....little one of big one.


  3. Jane, thank you for that information on the scramble recipe. We have often wondered where it came from! I imagine my grandmother copied it into her cookbook from a magazine clipping!

  4. The jello box should be a little one. Good question, thank you!