Wednesday, October 5, 2016

There's Always Room For Jell-O*


Nearing the end of our recent travels, we spent six days in Seattle, Washington. While there, we were able to spend very special time with San Geraldo's uncle and aunt and we even got to see two of their three "children" who are now in their 30s. San Geraldo is the oldest of his generation and Elizabeth is the youngest. Thirty-six years separate them. His uncle Roger has always been more like an older brother and his aunt Jane is three weeks younger than San Geraldo.

Being from South Dakota (Roger) and Wisconsin (Jane) they share the same culinary upbringing as their nephew. For better and for worse. Elizabeth grew up in Southern California and Seattle and didn't share those same culinary experiences.

Jane is especially creative in the kitchen serving healthy and unusual meals. We had the best two dinners with them. However, to honor tradition, Jane made a Jell-O salad.

Lime Jell-O, crushed pineapple, and ... wait for it... Cottage cheese! Yum!!!

Well, OK, for me, not at all "Yum!!!" And Elizabeth agreed. But Roger, Jane, and San Geraldo were in Mid-Western heaven. I guess it's an acquired taste.


ELIZABETH'S REACTION: HMMM, MAYBE NOT!
SAN GERALDO'S REACTION: MAGNÍFICO!!!

And here's a very special recipe, Jello Shrimp Salad Supreme, found in an old recipe box Roger inherited from his mother (San Geraldo's grandmother). Even Rog, Jane, and San Geraldo found the combination a bit questionable (although, if they tried it, they'd probably love it):

AMONG THE INGREDIENTS TO BE ENTOMBED IN LEMON JELL-O:
OLIVES, GREEN PEPPERS, ONIONS, HARD-BOILED EGGS, CELERY, PIMENTO,
AMERICAN CHEESE, MIRACLE WHIP**, AND TWO CANS OF SHRIMP!
I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP.

*The slogan in the 1960s was "There's always room for Jell-O." I'm not so sure.
**Miracle Whip (described as "salad dressing spread") is a product that would never have been permitted in the homes of anyone I knew when I was growing up.

30 comments:

  1. Being from South Dakota and of a strong Scandinavian heritage, these Jello "surprse" salads bring back memories. I disliked every one of them, but every church gathering, every family reunion, every potluck included jello salads! My cousins and I would politely pass them up, and then laugh later in a safe place!

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    1. Elaine:
      We rarely had Jell-O when I was growing up and, when we did, it was dessert. And there were no rules about what fruit went with what Jell-O flavor (or that there had to be fruit at all). I had no idea there was anyone from South Dakota who didn't like Jell-O!

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  2. Nope. Can't do Jello. Yuck! In the famous words of Sophia Petrillo, "If God wanted fruit suspended, he'd filled it with helium."

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    1. mistress maddie:
      I'm sure you'd change your mind if you tried that Jello Shrimp Salad Supreme. (I think it's out of the Mormon Cookbook!)

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  3. ew ew ew ew! jello (if served at all) is best left plain. NO WAY would I eat those recipes above!

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    1. anne marie:
      Our friend Kristina last night asked, "Why couldn't you just eat fruit?" Jerry told her she was missing the point.

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  4. Yes! The lime jello, crushed pineapple and cottage cheese has been a favorite of mine for years. For a fun variation, combine a small carton of thawed Cool Whip, one small box of dry lime jello, small can (Or half a big can) of crushed pineapple thoroughly drained and a small carton of cottage cheese. Another favorite of mine!

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    1. Ms Sparrow:
      Blech! ... But I'm so happy it makes YOU happy!

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  5. I take it the "c" stands for cup. It is an American measurement isn't it? The handwritten recipe shrimp salad supreme really sounds good to me and I think I would love it with bread and butter. I am not sure what jello means but I reckon I could cope. We used to get Russian salad here, with chopped vegetables and tasty tangy sauce but it is not longer available. The best Russian salad came out of a tin. Nothing like jello but this post reminded me of past favorites. Thanks Mitch.

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    1. Rachel:
      Yes, the "c" stands for cup (or maybe, in this case, crap). Approx. 226 grams. Jell-O is the brand name for what you I think simply call Jelly. Russian Salad is very popular here in Southern Spain. So many variations. And better, in my opinion, than Jell-O!

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  6. Don't think I could manage shrimp in sweet jello. Jello fruit salads, while not my favorite, are usually edible - but NO COTTAGE CHEESE ALLOWED! I prefer my jello plain and infrequent.

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    1. Wilma:
      The olives, peppers, and onions REALLY got me!

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  7. OMG! That green stuff doesn't look a bit appetizing!
    I grew up with just plain Jello......it was so easy to make. We kids used to suck it through our teeth! Can you just imagine the 'music'/noise created with at least 6 of us doing this!! lol
    As unappetizing as that last written recipe may sound, it is a treasure from the past.....hand-written and very 'local'.

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    1. Jim:
      I think the cottage cheese 'electrified' the lime Jell-O. Ugh!

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  8. yuck, although I have had a good shredded carrot, raisin and jello salad before. And I've also had a good pineapple, coconut and marshmellow salad with jello as well, I think they call that ambrosia. But never shrimp, sounds like throw up in a bowl for me.

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    1. Cheapchick:
      Well, I think they all sound pretty much like throw-up in a bowl!

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  9. I can't with Jell-O. I just can't.

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    1. Bob:
      Oh, think about it. It might be surprisingly fun... with Jell-O.

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  10. Replies
    1. Heron:
      They call it "lime," but I don't believe them.

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  11. Yes, yes and yes again! - and I don't mean for the shrimpy one.

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    1. Raybeard:
      And here I thought you were classy!!!

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  12. We never ever had jello salads (just jello dessert, plain, with whipped cream) when I was growing up in NJ, nor on visits to Massachusetts. Ever.
    But... since that era, I have had a really yummy one with whipped cream mixed into the jello, and cranberries, I think, and maybe nuts, and maybe apple pieces. It was really, really good. But.. it didn't mix freakin' SHRIMP into the mix, or American "Cheese", or "miracle" whip. Eww. Yuck

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    1. Judy:
      Jerry's mother had a "gourmet" version she made for special occasions. Orange Jell-O, orange sherbet and, I think, Mandarin oranges. I must admit I almost liked that one.

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  13. I see that no one has yet mentioned William Bolcom's song "Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise," so here's my chance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tWuG2oPL3o (as sung by Bolcom's wife, Joan Morris, with Bolcom's accompaniment).

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    1. A. Marie:
      I had never heard of this song. Hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing the link!

      Delete
  14. Jello dishes capture the ur-text of Midwest cuisine. No church affair is complete without some.

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    1. Spo:
      And always served in the church basement!

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  15. OK, I've lost my appetite for a week.

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    1. Frank:
      I'm so sorry. Maybe a nice bowl of Jell-O would help.

      Delete

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