Bowl of Worms: A Recipe Review

I had been wanting to try the “Bowl of Worms” recipe I found on Pinterest for a long time. “Had” being the operative word. I didn’t plan to post anything about it because it is all over the blogosphere…especially in the craft, homemade, fun crafts with kids blogger world. But, I just can’t resist writing a review…not of the recipe itself, but of the process of extracting the worms.

Here is the recipe I used from

2 packs (3 oz) Raspberry jello
1 pkg unflavored gelatin (for extra firmness)
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups boiling water
15 drops green food coloring
100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container)
Tall container (1 quart or 1 liter carton of milk)

1) Combine gelatin in bowl and add boiling water.
2) Let it cool to lukewarm and then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food coloring.
3) Gather your straws (don’t forget to flex them out) and put them in the container. It’s important that the straws have a tight fit so the jello stays in the straws. For this reason, a 1 liter carton may be better; you will probably get longer worms since there is a tighter fit. If you have a bigger container, a rubber band around the straws is helpful. Or you could just add more straws to fill the container.
4) Add the gelatin mixture to the straw-filled container and let it set until firm.
5) There are multiple ways you can remove the worms from the straws. You can roll a rolling pin over the straws and squeeze them out or you can hold the straws over warm water. The worms will slip right out.

The recipe was easy enough to follow. Mix all of the ingredients, pour mix into straws and let set up. I did not use a milk carton to hold my straws in place as the recipe instructs. I used an oversized beer mug that accomplished the same goal. Joe and I got busy doing other things so we “extracted” the worms this morning. It was not as easy as advertised.

I tried the rolling pin method.
Result: a goopy, non-worm looking mess all over the counter.

I tried the warm water method.
Result: the “worms” returned to their original form of liquid jello.

I tried the squeeze method and the results were great but after about 20 straws my hands were cramping up and I was sorely tempted to toss the rest in the garbage. It made a huge mess. which I normally don’t mind when Joe and I are cooking doing experiments in the kitchen. I did mind this time, but only because by that point I was so frustrated.

Jello Worms: Painstakingly extracted from stubborn straws.

Jello Worms: Painstakingly extracted from stubborn straws.

I know that this seems like a trivial thing to be frustrated with and that we all have more important things to worry about than how to extract jello worms from a straw in the most efficient and simple way. That being said, Joe got a huge kick out of them and wouldn’t eat one until I did. (Although, now that I think of it, I will have to watch him and make sure he doesn’t try to eat a real worm.) I would really like to figure out a better way to extract them before the next time I make these, which will not be until my hand stops hurting and then some.

Maybe a hair dryer?

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