Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making Wiggly Gelatin Earthworms

Gelatin Worms Made from Larger Drinking Straws
These worms, as pictured, were made from McDonald's and Wendy's drinking straws we had leftover.  They make considerably bigger, juicier worms for slurping satisfaction.  This is a great snack if you are doing a garden-themed project with the kids.  This is definitely a major undertaking, but are sure to be a hit with your little ones!

Plastic, flexible drinking straws, 80-100
Clean, 1 quart beverage container (half and half, orange juice or heavy whipping cream container) with top cut off.
6 ounce package of raspberry gelatin mix
3/4 of an ounce unflavored gelatin (three packages in a 1 ounce Knox box package, so use three of the four packets)
3 cups boiling water
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Green food coloring (about ten drops).  Green gel food coloring works well too, give a couple good squirts.
Fully Extend Flexible Part of Straw
Beforehand, fully extend the flexible part of the straws.  Place the straws in the empty heavy whipping cream container with the flexible region at the bottom of the container.  Pack the straws in snugly.
1. In a bowl, add the flavored and unflavored gelatin.
2. Boil the water and add to the bowl with the powered gelatin.  Stir with a whisk until completely dissolved.
3. Do not add the heavy whipping cream until the mixture has cooled for at least fifteen to twenty minutes or you can place in the fridge for ten minutes to save some time.  Once cooled down, stir in the cream and then add green food coloring, stirring until it resembles a earthworm color.
5. Using a container with a spout, like a measuring cup or batter bowl, fill with the mixture and pour into the container holding the straws.  This is best done in a clean sink in case you spill some. 
Enjoying Tasty Worms
6. Take some wax paper to cover the straws.  Hold the wax paper in place with a rubber band.  Allow the gelatin to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
7. Simply tear the carton away from the filled straws. Pull straws apart. Run hot tap water for about two to three seconds over 3 to 4 straws at a time. Starting at the empty ends, push worms from straws with rolling pin, or use your fingers pinching the straw and running your fingers down the length of the straw to slide them out onto trays or cookie sheets lined with wax paper.
Some will break, but broken worms taste just as good! Chill them again, covered in the refrigerator for 2 more hours or up to two days.  
To serve:  Add the earthworms to your dirt recipe for a realistic worm treat or pair with fresh fruit like sliced kiwi and grapes for a delicious snack.  Worms will hold at room temperature for about 2 hours.