Hits the Spot Punch

Today, I hit the road in search of a pitcher.  I decided I can’t be taking photographs of some generic straight-sided plastic monstrosity.  No soul there.  I needed one of those classic, curvy, glass numbers.  And the one I got is just that.  It’s pretty great.

I also picked up some punch glasses.  I can’t be serving my hot Kool-Aids in handle-less juice glasses.  You gotta have little handles.  Little handles class up any affair.

“Can I interest you in some hot Kool-Aid punch?  No?  How about some hot Kool-Aid punch in a glass with a little handle?  Ooh la la is right!  Here you go.”

So now I’m set for glassware.  Still might have to pick up a punch bowl, but that’s for another day.

Now, I have to admit I don’t get today’s recipe.

Hits the Spot Punch, from the Some Like It Hot section, is Kool-Aid served hot and sweeter than normal.  Yes.  Sweeter!  If you know your Kool-Aid, then you know normal preparation calls for one cup of sugar and two quarts of water (too sweet already).  This recipe decreases the water amount by a half of a quart.  Kind of a lot.

And tweaking your water content doesn’t exactly constitute a difference profound enough to be considered a different recipe.  Why not have a recipe with two and half quarts of water?  Three?  Two and seven-eighths?  The possibilities are literally endless.

Also, inverting the normal temperature of your product doesn’t make it a new recipe either.  For serious.  Is there another cookbook somewhere that has a recipe for hot apple pie and then, on a separate page, cold apple pie?  Grilled chicken breast, then refrigerated grilled chicken breast?  I don’t think so.

But I made it.  With Orange.  Not my favorite flavor but it was fine.  It was really sweet, hot Orange Kool-Aid.

Come on, anonymous Kool-Aid kitchen lab technicians from the past.  I’m sure you guys are good people.  You can do better than this.

Honey Lemonade

Picture the scene.

You and your special lady are snuggled up in some deep burnt orange shag carpeting.  The fire in your wood-paneled, burnt-orange-accented den is crackling away.  You run your fingers through her feathered hair.  So feathery.  She playfully traces the edge of your burnt orange collar.  So wide.

You stare into each other’s eyes and clink your mugs together, then sip from the piping hot, freshly made Honey Lemonade.  It’s tart.  It’s sweet.  It’s sensual.  So sensual.

Awwwww yeah.

And scene.

Today we take an entry from the Some Like It Hot beverage section of Kool-Aid Comes of Age.  Honey Lemonade is a warmed up treatment of a Kool-Aid Lemonade packet dressed up with a cinnamon stick and some cloves.  Half of the usual cup of sugar is replaced with honey for an extra flavor layer.

This drink is sweet to be sure.  Very sweet.  Since starting this project, anytime I make straight up Kool-Aid, I always dial down the sugar content by at least half.  At least.  But I’m following these recipes to the letter, so I’ll try not to mention the sweetness issue too often.

I have to admit this is not a bad beverage.  The spices toned down the tartness of the Lemonade a bit and give the whole thing a very wintery feel.  I’ve never had hot Kool-Aid before.  It’s very exciting.  It feels naughty.  So naughty.

I also followed the recipe’s option of serving it chilled, and it was still pretty good.  Refreshing and wintery.  Like a spicy snowman.  What?  I dunno.

Rainbow Ribbon Parfait

This week we take a step away from the Beverage section of the book and into the Easy and Elegant Desserts section.  Actually it’s the last recipe in that section, and it kind of stands out because it’s the only recipe in the whole book that doesn’t list any ingredients before the preparation instructions.  There are ingredients obviously.  Three of them.  Milk, Jell-O Vanilla Pudding Mix and Kool-Aid.  So why don’t they get listed and bolded?  It’s a mystery.

Since I was using vanilla pudding, I went with Cherry Kool-Aid since it seemed like a good match.   Strawberry could’ve worked just as well.  Really if I were to offer a suggestion for stepping up the creativity and elegance, they should’ve gone with Raspberry Kool-Aid and chocolate pudding.  Though the separate layers might not have stood out as well.

Which is another oddity of this recipe.  It’s called a Rainbow Ribbon Parfait, but the recipe just calls for one kind of Kool-Aid.  Not very rainbowish.  Maybe call it Layered Ribbon Parfait?  With all of the Kool-Aid flavors out today, you could really put together a nice looking Rainbow Ribbon Parfait that actually has all of the colors of the rainbow.  How that would taste is another matter.

This was kind of a pain in the ass to make.  I have a suspicion it was a pain for the General Foods people, too, because it is one of the only recipes in this section that didn’t get photographed.  My first try with a wine glass was a complete failure, so I started again.  I layered in the pudding but couldn’t get it to flatten out the way I wanted it to.  I swirled it and smoothed it with a spoon, but then some would run up the sides of the glass!  Then I’d have to try to scrape it off and remove any residue so it wouldn’t interfere with the next layer.  Then I put a Kool-Aid layer on but the Kool-Aid stuck to the parts where the invisible residue still was!  Someone more skilled and steady-handed could do a much more aesthetically pleasing job with this.  Though in the end I still think it looks interesting. Maybe.

This is not good.  It’s not terrible, but it’s not good.  I’m not really a huge pudding fan.  (I only ever eat it when I go to Chinese buffets, which is not often.)  It’s just two very distinct powdered food products mixed together, battling for supremacy with cherry ultimately dominating.  It tastes like you think it would.  No one would eat more than two spoonfuls of this.  Maybe you could serve a small amount in some shot glasses.  Maybe.

Also, there was some leftover grit from some of the Kool-Aid that wasn’t completely dissolved.  Grit is not a friend of pudding.  Maybe you could mix up some Kool-Aid and pudding to dissolve the Kool-Aid, then layer it. Maybe.

So, Rainbow Ribbon Parfait.  Not the tastiest nor easiest nor the most elegant nor even the most aptly named.  But it’s pretty-ish.  So there’s that.