Hello, internet. What you are about to read is the culmination of four months of work. We've been working hard to give you the best possible Spillymeal for college football, and we decided to drop it on you right before the most talked-about game of the year, Alabama and Texas A&M. This is likely the best, and dumbest, thing I'll ever do. Before we get to the recipe, let me explain how it came to be. As with most awesome ideas, It started off as a stupid, throwaway tweet.
STEP 1) Aquire SBNation 3D Printer STEP 2) ??? STEP 3) Nick Saban Jello Mold— Spilly (@IAmSpilly) May 7, 2013
The idea had been floated before to do some kind of Jell-O mold - they're inherently gross by themselves, but I didn't want to commit to one until I had the perfect idea for a shape. When I came up with the idea of a mold based on Nick Saban's head, it was immediately obvious that not only would it be hilarious, but it's something you'd expect a Bama fan to have anyway (and make requests for after this). Still though, how do you go ahead and make a life-sized replica of the face of Alabama football?
It turns out that my old college roommate Eric (@edr1084 on Twitter) now works at a place that had the capability to do custom modeling. Even more importantly, they have the ability to recreate 3D models from a series of photographs, and there just so happens to be a statue of Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa. I put the call out on Twitter for someone to help out and take pictures, and David Smith (@DSmithImages and dsmithimages.com) agreed.
With the pictures done, they were sent off to Eric, who loaded them into the software and came back with a 3D model:
After a few rounds of trial and error (mostly with foam that melted, bubbled and horribly disfigured Nick Saban's face), Eric was able to begin the process of transferring the model into wood to mold the plastic around. If you've ever dreamt of freezing Nick Saban in carbonite, here you go:
This continued for several layers until we had a full model:
Lastly, he needed to soften a sheet of food-safe plastic and vacuum-seal it to the model.
And finally, once the plastic was removed, it was finished. One item of note that we discovered on the way home: The model is life-sized, and the plastic is so wide, that in the event of rain Nick Saban can also be used as a hat.
So now, on to the recipe.
STEP 1) Congratulations! You are now in possession of a life-size Jell-O mold of Nick Saban's face. The possibilities are endless. Jell-O is a bit tricky to work with -- in the first test run, I used the regular instructions for Jell-O, and when I unmolded it, Saban's face sloughed right off and plopped into the sink, leaving me with a terrifying faceless blob with finely coiffed hair. You're going to need a lot of Jell-O for this. A lot.
STEP 2) No Jell-O mold is complete without all the little fixin's inside! The trick is to avoid anything wet that will disrupt the gelling process. So, instead of regular mayonnaise, I've decided to freeze it first into fun sized mayo-pops!
STEP 3) While that freezes, start mixing up the Jell-O in a bowl. Fill it with boiling water (ingredients: water, hot, sriracha): Then put the bowl into the fridge and wait until it starts to thicken by itself. So far it's not even that gross!
STEP 4) In addition to the mayo cubes, it's important to incorporate a variety of fun and healthy foods in your mold. For example, you could use fruit or vegetables. Brave souls among you may even choose to use meat! I've decided on gummi Lifesavers, dried beans, and a tin of anchovies to represent these three food groups.
STEP 5) To be well-rounded, we'll include some dairy and a little something sweet to top it off. Add in some Cheez-its and caramel candies.
STEP 6) Once all your ingredients are together, make sure to keep them dry on a paper towel.
STEP 7) Keep an eye on that Jell-O! While it's cooling, begin setting up your mold. I used four cups as pillars to hold it in place. Now things are going to get creepy. Well, creepier.
STEP 8) Make sure to spray the inside with cooking spray, butter, cow fat or whatever you have lying around. You can pour out the remaining contents of an old Bojangles box if you want to.
STEP 9) Now, it's time to act quickly. Once the Jell-O has slightly thickened, pour it into the face, but just a bit. You're going to layer in all those goodies. BEGIN:
Alternate Jell-O and mayo cubes. If you do it right, the cubes will melt slightly and create fun, fatty ribbons in your mold!
STEP 10) Now, put it in the fridge overnight. This is the hardest part. You may want to immediately devour Nick Saban to gain his power. But patience has its rewards.
STEP 11) The next day, pull the mold out and flip it on top of a cool metal pan. It will help keep the mold from melting as quickly. Also, any leftover pizza sauce from using the pan the night before will give your Jell-O a zesty kick!
STEP 12) Finally, lift the mold. Look upon your creation.
STEP 13) For extra fun, use a can of spray icing to make sure everyone knows who you're cheering for!
STEP 14) Be aware that with as much gelatin as you've used, cutting into this with a spoon MAY be problematic. It's basically ballistics gel. You could likely use it to test firearms BUT PLEASE, LSU FANS, DO NOT DO THIS. OKAY? I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.
You're done. Now you have a giant quivering red Saban zombie face. Congratulations!
Oh, and one more thing.