His name was Robert. I don’t remember his last name, but he had a nice smile and a willingness to just sit and talk about life between classes our freshman year at OU – it made the transition to college life a little sweeter. We would find a table at the Student Union, or sit on the lawn of the South Oval and dream our change-the-world dreams while snacking on his grandma’s desserts. Now, I’m not sure why a college student would bring homemade treats from grandma to school, but he was always willing to share and I was always willing to enjoy. My favorite of all the grandma goodies was Broken Glass cake. OK, so it’s not really a cake at all, but it is so much more than a Jell-O salad. It’s cool and fruity and creamy – and pretty. It does take a little time to make, but the result is like a little celebration on a plate. Today, that celebration is cherry and berry blue. Happy birthday, America!
Thank you, Robert, for sharing. Thank you, Robert’s grandma, for the inspiration. Maybe I’ll fix some treats to send with my grandson someday, so he can sit and talk about life and make life a little sweeter for someone else.
BROKEN GLASS CAKE (serves 10-12)
There are a lot of recipes out there for broken glass cake, but I stick with the one I learned so many years ago –grandma’s version:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter, melted
3 (3 oz) packages Jell-O gelatin, in your desired flavors
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 cup pineapple juice, heated
4 cups whipped cream (grandma used Dream Whip, and I use it to this day for this recipe)
Mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter together, and press into the bottom of a 13 X 9 baking pan (use glass so you can see the prettiness). Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Let cool. Prepare your Jell-O according to package instructions, chilling each flavor in separate pans that will allow you to then cut into fun 1” cubes. Dissolve gelatin in ¼ cup cold water. Pour in hot pineapple juice and stir. Chill until cool but not set. Fold into whipped cream. Gently add the cubes of Jell-O to the whipped cream mixture, folding carefully. Spread mixture over graham cracker crust and chill until ready to serve. Cut into squares and serve with a “I just made a little celebration on a plate” smile.