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Thursday, April 11, 2013

No Jell-o

There are no Jello recipes in my cookbook. I am not anti-Jello, it's just not something I make. Maybe because my mom and my mother-in-law were such fans and hardly a salad was created for some special occasion without the use of it, usually with fruit or vegetables added. I think I got Jello-ed out.

As a child, I loved to sneak into the cupboard and get the cherry or lime-flavored box of Jello and eat it finger to mouth. My kids loved it, so when Grandma came to visit they would ask her to bring Jello, which of course she was happy to do-- Lime Jello with canned pears or Orange Jello with canned peaches. And always the cut up bananas added.

One salad my mother often served for dinner when I was little was lime with cottage cheese and celery, diced fine. And orange with cottage cheese and grated carrot. It may not sound appetizing but it was really good, and this is one way she got us to eat more vegetables. Because kids will eat most anything that's super-sweet, even vegetables.

Do you have Jello memories from your childhood? Pro or con when it comes to this super-sweet jiggly invention?


21 comments:

  1. Love jelly straight from the fridge in the summer - and especially fruit jelly - like real pieces of fruit in jelly! Yay! take care
    x

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  2. i do love jello--but i know it sounds really lazy, but i kinda avoid a lot of them, because they tend to have too many steps for me---i used to make one at thanksgiving, almost yearly, it was pretty easy---cherry jello---maraschino cherries, whole cranberry sauce and pecans---and there was this one that i never made myself, but i loved it, it had cheddar cheese and orange jello!

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  3. For those who grew up in middle class U.S.A. in the fifties, Jell-O salads were the rage, I'm told. I wasn't here (and barely born) then, but the first time I had something called MIMOSA SALAD it was at the home of an elderly relative whose cooking vocabulary stopped growing in the mid-fifties. She still served those.
    Well, it was interesting and not terrible, though I can't for the life of me figure out how it can be called SALAD. Obviously the thought that throwing a few chopped vegetables or fruits into a chemically flavored desert makes it a salad substitute is rather peculiar to post-seventies thinking.
    I'm not anti-Jell-O either. I just think of it as a candy-like sweet. It's no salad.

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    1. Mirka, Your comment really took me back to those days! Funny how there have been food trends like this through the decades. Along with the Jello trend came the casserole made from one meat, one vegetable, one grain, and a can of cream of mushroom soup to blend it all together. Oh how I hated those casseroles!

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  4. My grandmother made one that I liked. It was pear halves filled with cream cheese, turned face down and set in lime jello. She served each pear half on a lettuce leave and it did look pretty. I licked the cream cheese from the center when she wasn't looking.

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  5. I'm not a big fan of jello salads. My mom would use jello for deserts occasionally. I do have one jello dish I like to make--once in a while. It's made up with black cherry jello, mandarin oranges,mini marshmallow, and slivered almonds or walnuts. Good mix of textures and diverse flavors.

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  6. HI, Karen,

    When I was a kid it was ALWAYS Cherry, strawberry, or raspberry Jello with COOL WHIP... My mom loved the berry ones.

    We never did salads. Just set in a glass desert cup and a dallop...

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    1. Michael, Oh yes, I remember the Jello as dessert with Cool Whip! There used to be TV ads showing it off like that.

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  7. I used to love Jello but now I find it tastes like... nothing! So disappointing.

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  8. We don't have jello in the UK but probably something similar, I used to love eating jelly cubes :)

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  9. We'll have it mixed with Cool Whip in a pie crust. But I still have memories of Jello with carrots in it - and Jello should NEVER contain a vegetable.

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  10. I love food blogs! I'll be back to gather a few ideas for cooking! I'm a vegetarian, but I'm sure I'll find something that I can wet my taste buds with!!

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  11. I didn't eat Jello much as a kid, except when it was served as part of the lunch in the school cafeteria when I was in grade school and high school. So when I think of Jello I think of cafeteria food, and then I think of ordering delicious Thai food to get the memory of cafeteria food out of my mind. :) I did like those Jello jigglers you could eat with your hands, though.

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  12. We didn't have Jeii-O often, but I always enjoyed it when we did. I think my sister and I even ate it out of the box once! I'd forgotten that until you mentioned it:).I rarely make Jell-O, but I think I'll start so I can get more veggies in my kids with those vggie Jell-O salads!

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  13. My mother made strawberry Jell-O with fruit cocktail and lime Jell-O with grated cheddar cheese.

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  14. This is like a walk into the past.Jello salads and Jello desserts really were a big thing a generation or two ago. It's been interesting seeing everyone's Jello memories!

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  15. Yes! Eating jell-o straight from the package was a sleep over tradition. Didn't care for it much mixed with water. ;) The only way I like it now is in Purple Passion--a recipe I got from my mother-in-law because my hubby likes it. It's just used for flavor though, so no wiggly jiggly.

    Purple Passion
    1 small can crushed pineapple
    1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 package raspberry jello
    1 can blueberry pie filling
    1 small container whipped topping

    Mix it all together and chill.

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    1. Charity, My sweet tooth is screaming for this. Thank you for including the recipe! I'm going to save and make it next time my Jello-lovein' kids are over for dinner.

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  16. HI Karen--Haven't stopped by your blog for a while, but I have not forgotten you. Like you, I was raised when jello, the ultimate plastic food, was really popular. Not so much anymore, though. I seldom make anything with it, but I do have a wonderful Joys of Jello cookbook that I bought at a discount, for nostalgia purposes. There are so many great, colorful pictures of jello towers in it; it was worth the $2.50 just for the memories, even if I never once use a recipe out of it.

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    1. Cathy, Oh my goodness, I love the idea of thumbing through your Joys of Jello cookbook! Talk about a blast to the past!

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  17. Hi Karen .. I love jelly and fresh fruit jellies as I got older ... we didn't have it that often - but it was such a convenient dish ... and as you say would always get eaten, though I'm not sure I tried the savoury versions you suggest - but now I mix fruit and salad as a salad!!

    Cheers Hilary

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