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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gettin’ Jiggly Wit It!

Emerald Salad – Salads & Dressings, Pg. 175 – Lorna Oxner

Hard to believe, but jellied salad has been with us since the turn of the century. During the Renaissance, elaborate gelatin moulds were the star attraction of the dinner table – usually flavored with wine and extracts - and more tart than the Jell-O concoctions of the 20th century. In earlier times the extraction of collagen - the magic ingredient in making gelatin – was very labour intensive, which made gelatin fairly inaccessible. By the mid 20th century, the magic of manufacturing made gelatin readily available on supermarket shelves across North America, and made Jell-O, a household sensation – thus the popularity of jellied salad moulds during the 50s and 60s. It was also a relatively easy and inexpensive side dish to many meals or buffets, and although less popular today, many still claim their place at the holiday dinner table.

It was inevitable really – cooking our way through a cookbook that was published in the 1950s, we could only avoid making a jellied salad for so long. Peter has no memories of jellied salads growing up, although we have a sneaky suspicion that his Mom may have turned out a few moulds in her day since she just happened to have a few moulds on hand. Although Peter had the good fortune of missing the jellied salad boom, Jan didn't fair as lucky - in fact, while preparing this post, many repressed jellied salad memories came flooding back, kicking her gag reflex into motion.

Of course, for both of us, the mere thought of jellied salad is synonymous with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when the rather senile aunt Bethany arrives for the holidays with an armload of wrapped gifts – one being her cat…and another a lime Jell-O and kitty kibble salad mould. So - whether you call it gelatinous, jellied, jiggly or wiggly – here it is at long last – the Dutch Oven Diary’s first…but not last - Jellied Salad!


1 Pkg Lime Jell-O
1 Cup pineapple juice
2/3 Cup chopped celery
2/3 Cup chopped apples
2/3 Cup chopped pineapple
½ Cup whipped cream
½ Cup mayonnaise


Assisting on this recipe was Peter's niece - Mackenzie, Foodie in Training. Dissolve package of lime jell-o in 1 cup of hot pineapple juice. Refridgerate until slightly thickened. Fold in whipped cream, mayonnaise and veggies and fruit. Pour into mould, and let set overnight.

Although we used a top of the line Tupperware jelly mould – guaranteed easy release – we had some issues. A couple tips – lightly grease with a cooking spray and/or place the mould in hot water for 20-30 seconds before releasing. So what’s the verdict?? Well…to be honest – there weren’t a lot of negative comments around the dinner table, but then again – there didn’t seem to be any positive ones either. We just didn’t quite get this one – Jell-O, fruit, vegetables and mayonnaise? Is it a salad? Is it a dessert? It seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. In any case, if there are any brave souls out there that want to get jiggly wit it – be sure to leave us a comment with your review or post a picture to our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheDODiaries.