Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jello Salad--Which Food Group Is It?

Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt: Week #6 - Let readers in to your kitchen. Discuss your family’s favorite foods. What was a typical Sunday dinner in your childhood house? What did grandma make that had you coming back for more? Were there any dishes that the dog wouldn’t even eat? Thanks to We Tree for the inspiration!

Well, I am a tad behind on my blogging, but I wanted to make sure that I blog on a prompt from 2 weeks ago! While I could describe any number of food traditions in my family, I think I would like to talk about....Jello!!!

The phenonomen of Jello Salad is totally lost on my Brooklyn, NY born and bred husband while it was a staple in my house growing up in Texas! In my house, jello was one of the basic food groups, while my husband doesn't even consider it edible! 

The big debate over any gathering, was 1) who is going to bring the jello salad? and 2) which jello salad should they make? 

Would it be the Orange Jello with Pinapple and Grated Carrots? My grandmother Kempf loved to make that one! 

Orange-Carrot Salad
  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. orange flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed pinapple, undrained
  • Carrot curls
  • Lettuce
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, and stir in cold water. Chill until partially set.

Fold carrots, oranges and pinapple into thickened gelatin. Spoon into an oiled 2-qt. mold; chill until set. Unmold on lettuce and garnish with carrot curls. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Or would it be the Rosy Strawberry Jello with sour cream topping? Here is the recipe handwritten by me in high school (circa 1975) where I got the recipe from my home economics teacher (I guess I am dating myself here!):

Rosy Strawberry Ring

Note: I usually made this in a glass dish and did not bother to unmold it. I would spread the sour cream topping over it before serving.

A twist that was sometimes served was Green Jello with Pear Halves. That was something special because it involved layering!

Under-the-Sea Pear Salad
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pear halves
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) Jell-O Lime Gelatin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 pkgs. (3 oz. each) cream cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
Drain pears, reserving 3/4 cup of the syrup. Coarsely dice pears and set aside. Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water.  Add pear syrup and lemon juice. Measure 1 1/4 cups into an 8x4-inch loaf pan or a 4-cup mold. Chill until set, but not firm-about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, soften cheese until creamy. Very slowly blend in remaining gelatin, beating until smooth. Blend in ginger. Stir in pears. Spoon over set gelatin in pan. Chill until firm-about 4 hours. Unmold and garnish with chicory or watercress. Serve with mayonnaise, if desired. Makes about 3 1/2 cups or 6 serviings.

Note: Recipe may be doubled, using a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
~The New Joys of Jell-O, General Foods: White Plains, 1974. 69.

I am the proud owner of The New Joys of Jell-O (copyright 1974), and I have a couple of jello molds stashed here somewhere, but since getting married, haven't had a chance to use them much! LOL!!

Maybe on that next trip to Texas......

1 comment:

  1. I remember my neighbor making me jello dishes like these after I had my first baby and had just come home from the hospital - I couldn't get enough of them. And they were also a staple in my part of Texas, too.