For a brief moment, this post was going to be about mashed potatoes. It is the item that I am asked to make most often for large meals. And I LOVE MASHED POTATOES. But then I realized there are two problems.

1)  I don’t have a recipe for my mashed potatoes. I always just get started and then take a little taste, add some butter, another little taste, add some butter, taste a little more, and then add some (copious amounts of) salt.


2)   Being from Utah, I HAD to put a recipe that includes JELLO in this Bonus Edition of #Architalks. 

#Architalks is designed to showcase the variety of people who practice architecture. This is a bonus issue where everyone is describing an item will be on our holiday table. By design, this post is supposed to be strictly about yummy things. But part of being an architect is about breaking the rules of design.


I am going to briefly talk about the architectural topic of regionalism. In Utah for some unknown reason we are BIG fans of Jello, but it is rarely just Jello. We “spice“ it up. For example put shredded carrots in it. Yep shredded carrots, but that is only acceptable if the Jello is green. I have no idea where this tradition came from, but it finds its way to a lot of family dinners. BTW, it is as unpleasant as it sounds. Still, I smile every time that I see a dish of the stuff because (to me) regionalism is important. I think most people agree with me when it comes to food. I have not heard many people say that they are excited to go to France to try their McDonald's. Or that they are headed to Cajun country to see if Applebee's is good down there.

For me, these same concepts hold true for architecture. The best buildings are rooted in their place. Buildings in Utah should look and feel different than buildings elsewhere. When we begin new projects hopefully we can look at this principal and recognize that in order for our places to feel like our places, they need to be designed to be from somewhere.

So as you are examining ALL of the architalk posts this month see if what regional variations you can find. So without further ado… Here is a Wonderful UTAH jello recipe. (watch out, it is highly addictive)


1)  You will need a package of Jell-O (any flavor works, but orange and red look the most appetizing when you are done. I have tried with blue and green and it doesn't look edible. It still tastes great, just doesn't look great.) and COOK vanilla pudding.  (large or small, just make sure they are the same, but use large because this stuff is really delicious)
2)  Follow pkg directions for cooking pudding using water instead of milk.  Bring to a boil.  Add Jell-O.   Stir until completely dissolved.  
3)  Let set in fridge until firm.   Usually 4 or more hours.  
4)  Remove from fridge and mix up -- I use my stand mixer.   When it is a little soft add a 8 oz carton of cool whip.   Mix until well blended.  

5)  Add drained fruit -  pick one or two of the following (or more if you want a more Utah experience) strawberries, bananas, mandarin oranges, raspberries, blackberries, walnuts, marshmallows.

6)  Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two so it can stiffen up again. Then take it out and enjoy!!

If you are brave enough to try this Utah delicacy please leave a comment to let me know how you liked it. And be sure to check out all of the other architalkers recipes.


I want to get a picture of this with a plate of food, but it isn't thanksgiving yet.

I want to get a picture of this with a plate of food, but it isn't thanksgiving yet.

Here is a list of all of the other Architalkers. Take a look and see if there is anything that you want to bring to your table.

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Matthew Stanfield - FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Thanksgiving Feast...

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
This Thanksgiving: Something New

Mark R. LePage - Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
From My Table To Yours

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
ArchiTalks: Bourbon. Every architect's friend.

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Archi-Table - Any Berry Salad

Rosa Sheng - Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
Hacksgiving - A Hacker's Thanksgiving

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
"From an Architect's Table" Dolly Brown's Pumpkin Pie

Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Archtalks from an Architects Table

Michael Riscica - Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
The Architect's Postmodern Thanksgiving!

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
All In the Family

Eric Wittman - intern[life] (@rico_w)
giving thanks and [wine]ing

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
Unplug Tradition

Jarod Hall - di'velept (@divelept)