Okay, I am going to be honest, this is by far the most disgusting and yet fun thing I have done in a long time. We have done plenty of Jell-O Molds, Knox Blox and the like in our time, but Jell-O Worms? I wasn’t too sure, but I had two little boys in my house who were absolutely sure that this was THE thing to do for Wacky Wednesday.
So I embarked on a journey to create worms! Now you can too!
What you’ll need:
- 2 boxes (1.4 oz) Jell-O or Flavored Gelatin (raspberry or grape if you want brown worms)
- 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 5 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 cup Cool Whip
- green food coloring, (if you want brown worms)
- 100+ plastic straws with bendable necks
How to get started:
Find a tall thin container for making your worms. If you have a 1/2 gallon or carton of milk or orange juice, trim off the top and that will work perfectly. I used a thermos that we had laying around (fail!). Thermos’ are insulated to keep the cold stuff cold and the hot stuff hot. SO with now thinking ahead planning on my part, running the water over a thermos to loosen the Jell-O from the sides, doesn’t work very well. So learn from my mistake and just chop off the top of your orange juice container, rinse it out and consider yourself warned.
What ever you do decide to use, make sure it can hold about 6 cups of liquid and that it is straight up and down to hold your straws erect. Now fill it with straws, this was my son’s favorite part, because not only did he get to ‘grow’ the straws (extending out the bendy section), but he got to put them in and practice his counting skills. Place all your extended straws into your container with the bendy part facing down and make sure that the end of the straws are sitting flush to the bottom of your container. Pack the straws in tightly to get a nice snug fit, a rubber band around the top of the straws will help pull them together when you pour in the Jell-O mixture.
Now it is time to make the Jell-O mixture. In a medium bowl, stir together the plain and the unflavored gelatin, then add the boiling water over the gelatin powder. Stir until the powder is dissolved. If you would like to make multi-colored worms, you can! Just use 1 box of flavored gelatin and 2 packets of unflavored gelatin instead and dissolve it with 2 1/2 cups boiling water. At this point let your bowl (or bowls) of gelatin cool down for about 20 minutes, not set but slightly warm, then add in the Cool Whip. If you are making one color worms, put in the entire 1 1/2 cup, use 3/4 cup if you are planning on using two separate colors. My plan was to make orange and red, but I didn’t wait for the orange to set enough before adding my red so they came out one color. We didn’t opt for the brown worms, because my stomach couldn’t handle that, but this is the point where you would add the green food coloring to turn your worms a natural brown color.
Put your container of straws on a cookie sheet or inside a larger bowl, like I did because there will be spills!! Now that your mixture is ready to go, slowly pour the Jell-O over the straws. Some of the Jell-O mixture will seep up the sides, but no worries, your straws should be filling up. If you are using two different colors, pour in the first color and allow it set for about 30 minutes or more in the refrigerator. Then pour the other color on top. You can see that mine turned all red, because I didn’t allow my first color to set long enough, but it was still very disgustingly delish! I also used a clean lid for the extra Jell-O mix since I ran out of room in my thermos of straws.
Chill your Jell-O filled straws in the fridge overnight. After the Jell-O has set, it’s time for the messes of all messes! Run your container under warm water until you can pull the entire Jell-O/straw blob out easily. (This is also the part where you thank me for stopping you from using a thermos for your straws! This part was next to impossible and I wound up hacking away at the sides with a butter knife while my friend and the two excited boys tried to pull this mess out.) After about 15 minutes of hacking and pulling we finally managed to get the straws out. (this would have been much easier had I thought ahead and NOT used a thermos, even if it was pink!)
Now onto removing your worms, on all the websites I read, they said to “tightly squeeze and slide your thumb and finger down the length of the straw and the worm will be pushed out of the bottom”. I must not have very strong fingers because after about 5 very broken and quickly devoured worms were “squeezed” out I was just about done! The two little boys I spoke of earlier were about this close to missing out on Jell-O worms because I just couldn’t squeeze any more Jell-O from these straws.
So I ran some hot water back into the now empty thermos, gave each straw a quick dip in the hot water bath and they slid right out with ease. Make sure you don’t leave them in the hot water for too long, or you will experience the slimy mess falling out in the water, in the sink, on the counter and just about anywhere else, EXCEPT where you want them to go. Once they are all out of the straws, place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put them back in the fridge until ready to serve, if they make it that long!
Even though ours turned out red, and not at all appearing like real earthworms, when you pop one in your mouth, it does FEEL like you would imagine a real worm does, so if you have a weak stomach leave these for the kiddos!