You have no idea how glad I am that this Friday has finally arrived. The entire week has been a whirlwind of activity around Lily and Noel’s graduation from 8thgrade. A school sponsored dinner dance, the graduation ceremony itself, held in the school gymnasium on the first day of summer, that proved to be the hottest day of the year, and finally, Lily and Noel’s own party for 120 of their closest friends.
OMG. It’s only the 8th grade. But I tried to pitch in and help. What would you like me to cook, I asked 14 year old Noel. Glow-in-the-dark Jello Shots, he assured me, were all he desired. Now what in the heck are glow-in-the-dark Jello shots, I wondered? But thank god for the internet. Within 10 minutes I was an expert.
It seems that under a black light, tonic water glows blue, so somebody got the bright idea of making gin and tonics with gelatin, setting them in shot glasses and serving them at “Raves”, with black light, smoke machines, unendurable faux music with a disc jockey.
The internet instructions said, for the minor set, just leave out the gin and make it all tonic water. I made up a trial batch on Sunday. Inedible. So, — as we say – that’s why we call it the test kitchen – I went back to the internet and found that you can make aforesaid Jello shots with any color or flavor of ordinary jello, simply substitute tonic water for the water, and it will glow an eerie blue under the black lights.
So, to that end, I made about 150 jello shots with tonic water, poured them into little toothbrush cups I’d spritzed with Pam, and set them up in the refrigerator. To serve, we simply popped them out of the paper cups – that was easy – and served them on trays.
Jello Shots and Strawberries for the 8th Grade Rave
Well, I have to tell you that the music and the smoke and the unimaginable energy and heat given off by 100 teenagers in a Tennis club dining room, ran me right out onto the patio where I served as an “outside observer”. Just like when I was a teenager and held the official office of outside observer in the Rainbow girls club.
Now, there was a good reason for this service on my part. The club doesn’t allow kids outside during an event on the theory that most of the mischief cooked up by fertile teenage minds takes place in the dark in the bushes, and the second reason was that I was relieved to be doing something useful away from the melee.
The grown up chaperones had the duty to break up the games of Truth or Dare in the bathrooms, to keep them out of the stash of booze in the honor bar, and to see to it that the main event remained the main event.
Now, teenagers of the tender age of 14 are not really quite there when it comes to social grace, so there was a lot of clotting up of teens, separated by gender, with heads down and furtive looks passing back and forth, but eventually the party seemed to gell.
As usual, only the black kids can really dance, and more often than not, a group of dancers – say 3 to 5, would dance a spirited and interesting dance with a circle of kids watching.
Once when I went in, I noticed my daughter with the janitor’s mop, flailing away at the floor under the bar. Uh, oh. I thought. Wonder who had a little spilly. On that trip inside – I did keep score on how the kitchen was running – were the pizzas being put out onto the buffet as needed, was the sandwich being tidied up as needed, were they running out of marshmallows, or ho-hos or cupcakes?
But I was gratified to see that all the Jello shots had been consumed. Well, I thought. That was a hit.
Lily and Noel with a Friend at 8th Grade Graduation
Only once the party was over – at a respectable 10 – and all the parents had gathered and carted off their sweaty children, did I learn just how successful the Jello-shots had been.
It seems, that the Jello Shots as well as the giant-sized steroid-bulging strawberries had been a big hit. They were thrown onto the floor where they were smashed and served as a new lubricant for the dancers underfoot.
Oh dear. What will they think of next. And by the way. The Jello-shots I made with colored jello did NOT glow blue under the black lights. Only the kids did.