06 July 2012


One of the things you learn very quickly if you live in Utah is that folks here like Jello. It is frequently referred to as "salad."

I've recently been given a stack of recipe cards that belonged to Eric's maternal grandmother. She died when Eric's mom was just a baby, so whether these were her favorite, tried and true recipes, or simply a stack of cards that were given and exchanged at a women's group and then stored in a kitchen drawer indefinitely, we may never know. (Actually, this is now on my list of questions to ask as soon as I die.)

At any rate, they certainly provide a humorous glimpse at the culinary styles of Utah women in the 1950s. The stack is large and comprised primarily of casseroles (with nearly every casserole being held together with cream of something soup), desserts, and "salads."

I am not a fan of Jello. The texture is totally weird to me, and I avoid eating it when I can. (Twice since my moving to Utah in 2003 I have been served Jello directly on my plate and have been obligated to eat it. Once was on Easter at Janssen's grandparents' house, and the other time was on Thanksgiving at Eric's aunt and uncle's house. I survived both times.)

I couldn't resist perusing the Jello recipes and seeing what kind of cooky concoctions these women liked.

This one caught my eye because it is called Waldorf Salad. Only, it has Jello and bananas in it in addition to the traditional celery, apple, whipped cream and nuts. I suppose it is reasonable as a fruit salad recipe, but it certainly is not a traditional Waldorf salad.

The most classic crazy Jello recipe stories usually involve carrots. This one has shredded carrots and pineapple. This is of course not something that really appeals to me, but I suppose I can see how some might find it appealing.

This next one is a strange mixture of sweet and savory. Who wouldn't want to eat finely chopped cucumber and celery mixed with lime Jello prepared with pineapple juice?

But of course, things are getting weirder. Make lemon Jello with hot chicken soup or chicken gumbo soup. Then add diced celery, chopped nuts and flaked tuna. Yum!

If tuna isn't your protein of choice, you can always try a variation that uses lemon Jello, made with (I assume beef) broth, celery, bell pepper, onion and corned beef. I do not make this up, folks. It is for real.

Next time I'm asked to bring a salad to a pot-luck sort of function, it will be hard to know which one to choose. I can assure you that whichever one I do choose, I'll take a picture so you can pin it on Pinterest and add it to your "Looks SOOOOOO YuMmY!!!111!!!" board.


Jenn said...

Oh man, those meat salads are seriously grossing me out. I thought Jared's grandma was crazy for eating carrots and ONIONS in her jello, but I think the meat is far worse!

Lanette said...

WOW. Thank you for sharing these--I am officially no longer in the mood to eat brownies for breakfast. Actually, I'm feeling a bit queasy ;) But really, wow. Can't deny there were some extremely creative "salad" makers back in the day.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Jell-O is NOT a salad. In Australia they ate it as a dessert--on a separate plate without any worry it would run into the actual food--and that kind of made sense. But it was still gross.

I knew an elder who went to the Philippines but said the grossest thing he ate on his mission was in SLC waiting for a visa: a green jello mold filled with baby shrimp and served with tarter sauce.

Finally found a box. Your diapers should be in the mail soon!

trishtator said...

I was almost on board with this, until the "Corn Beef Salad." Are you people for real? Wow.

I still say that some green jello with shredded carrots is a nice delicacy. Maybe some orange with mandarin oranges. Yum!