As I’ve said, my mother (SueG) did not serve dessert on weeknights as a rule. (In fact it surprised me when I learned later in life a lot of people grew up eating dessert every day.) I believe there were two chief reasons for this: First, she did not approve of daily indulgences. Second, she was trying to minimize calories for my father and me. We did not have junk food or cookies around on a regular basis.
In the later years of my childhood, she would buy dreadful fake Oreos (almost too bad to eat — almost) and really inedible gingerbread cookies, which came in brown paper sacks. She was the only person who liked the gingersnaps, so they would tend to stick around for weeks at a time, which was fine with her.
Every so often, though, a weeknight dinner would warrant a special treat –fruit Jell-o for dessert. This took some planning ahead (the Jell-o needs to set). On the other hand the execution could not have been simpler:
Prepare fruit-flavored Jell-o (ours would have been cherry, most often) according to package directions in a glass bowl.
Before putting the bowl in the fridge to set, dump in a can of mixed fruit (ideally with cherries).
There you have it, pure weeknight elegance. Note: SueG would NOT serve this dessert with topping of any kind (Cool-Whip being one of her forbidden foods and real whipped cream reserved for true occasions).