Why it’s a good thing I live mostly anonymously in a large city where I will not be judged for my desserts.

With all of the talk lately about Jell-o and pudding and all of the awesome recipes you all have been so kind to offer, I truly had a hankerin’ for my grandma’s Layered Jiffy Cake Dessert. And, I was in luck – I had to take a dessert tonight to PEO.

PEO is a women’s organization that provides assistance to women who want to further their educations. It’s truly a wonderful group, and it’s pervasive in small towns in the Midwest. My grandma, my mom, and all of my aunties are PEOs, and going to a PEO meeting in a small town is a bit of an Event. You wear a dress.

I am a member of a rogue chapter. We all hail from small towns but ended up in our fair city. We don’t wear dresses. But every once in a while? We will channel our inner Small-Town Ladies.

And so it was last night as I made my grandma’s dessert.

My grandma made this fairly often, and it’s been my favorite for a very long time.

1 box chocolate Jiffy Cake Mix* – mix as directed and bake in a 9×13 pan for 15-20 minutes. Cool. Add 1 cup milk to 1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding and 1 pkg. instant butterscotch pudding and blend.

Now, if you’re like me last night, at this point you will hear barking and – oh, yes – hissing coming from your back yard. Put down the whisk, abandoning your pudding mixture, and grab your coat and pink Disney princesses flashlight. Then, step out on the deck, grab the broom you use to sweep poop off the deck, and head toward the sound of the the barking and hissing.

At this point, discover Foxie Doxie (or the misbehaving dog of your choice) standing over a dead hooker. I mean a dead opossum. I mean a opossum who is playing dead. Your dog will refuse to leave the varmint. Realize that your dog isn’t wearing a collar and so you don’t have anything much to grab on to, so make several unsuccessful attempts to herd the dog with the poopy broom. Make sure that you keep a safe distance from the comatose varmint, as you’ll be quite frightened to learn that playing dead includes opened eyes and a healthy dose of damn-you-need-orthodontia teeth on the part of the opossum.

The next step – and this is very important – is realizing that your other dog is standing inside at the back door, screaming. He is very upset about the goings-on in the back yard and the improper broom usage. Personally, it was at this point that I recalled a rainy night several months ago when I used the same broom to usher Foxie and yet another opossum out from underneath the deck while Lil’ Frankfurter, upset by the commotion, ran around the house, dousing my floors with his nervous bladder.

Finally, use the poop broom to get the disobedient dog the hell out of the backyard and into the house. Foxie didn’t seem to understand why I ushered him immediately into his kennel. But, like sifting flour, some things just have to be done.

Then, wash your hands and mix 4 cups vanilla ice cream (softened) into the pudding mixture. Spread the mixture on top of cake. Refrigerate until firm.

I don’t recommend letting the pudding sit for 10 minutes while you go on varmint duty – my pudding never quite mixed properly with the ice cream. This might have been due to the fact that it was the sugar-free / fat-free pudding (never again!) or my dark and murky aura as I determined that no, my grandma wouldn’t have left her PEO dessert half-done to go battle a dead hooker. I mean opossum. Grandma would have been wearing pearls, the opossum would have been scared of her (rightly so), and the dessert would have been flawless.

Serve with dollop of Cool Whip on top, sprinkle with pecan if you like.

* I have trouble finding chocolate Jiffy Cake Mix, so I just make a regular cake mix and only use about half of it – maybe make six cupcakes with the leftover batter.

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