Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Celebration Preparation Explanation

In preparation for our annual fiesta of going straight to heck (because Jebus doesn't like it too much when people take jello shots in his name), we spent all morning putting the goodies together for tomorrow. The two productions were the classic hard-boiled eggs and the noveau 43 kinds jello shot (actually only 3).


We like to use the hard-boiled eggs technique from cooks illustrated. Put the eggs in water, bring it to a boil, boil for 5 minutes, let sit in hot water for 10 minutes, then straight into cold water to stop the cooking. They always come out delicious, not overly dry nor goopy in the middle. And check out the color that this simple process makes them.
Just kidding, Marion dyed them using food color and vinegar, something on the order of 20 drops of your favorite color, 1 cup water, and a tablespoon of vinegar. Put the eggs into the colored mixture until they look like the right color, and viola! Easter eggs. In the past, we've drawn on the eggs before dying them with Crayons in neat patterns, the dye doesn't go where the wax from the crayons is, so you end up with multi color designs.


We made up four flavors of jello, three of them with alcohol and a virgin batch (not shown) for the kids. One of the flavors was a hold over from last year, the margarita, and the other two are new adventures, orange dreamsicle and raspberry coconut.
The general guideline for jello shots that I'm following is to mix the jello with the called for amount of boiling water (to get it dissolved) and then add a combination of liquor and water for the cold addition. The combination of liquor and water is based on the strength of the liquor. Basically, the amount of alcohol by volume can't exceed 20%, so if you're using straight vodka at 80 proof (where 80 proof = 40%), then you'd use 1/2 vodka, 1/2 water for the cold portion of the jello recipe. Note that this would taste awful and get you shnookered pretty quick, so you'd probably want to consider watering it down even more.

We use a package of lime jello, it calls for 2 cups boiling water and two cups cold water on the package. We dissolve the jello in two cups boiling water (stir for 2 min), then squeeze in the juice from two limes, add about 1/2 cup of triple sec, somewhere around a cup of tequila, and fill up to the four cup line with cold water.

Orange Dreamsicle:
Orange jello, dissolve the jello in two cups boiling water, add about 1/2 cup triple sec, somewhere around 3/4 of a cup of vanilla vodka, and fill up to the four cup line with cold water.

Raspberry Coconut:
We weren't sure how this would turn out, but we used the ol' saying "coconut rum tastes good with everything" to convince ourselves it would work. And it does.
Raspberry jello, dissolve jell in two cups boiling water, a splash of amaretto (which is entirely unnecessary if you don't have it around), and nearly two cups of coconut rum because it's only 20% abv. Fill up to the four cup line with cold water.

Virgin Black Cherry:
We decided to make some for the kids, so we made up black cherry jello, but put in club soda instead of cold water for the last two cups. It didn't taste very fizzy when we poured into the cups, but hopefully there will be a little sparkle once the jello is set, I'll report back.

The jello shots are destined to go inside of large plastic easter egg shells so the critters don't get in them while they're hidden. Last year, this worked so well that we found jello shots that looked edible months after the party (I couldn't quite bring myself to try them, however). If you ever wanted to know what it's like inside an easter egg, here's the view from a jello shot's perspective.

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