I’m not going to lie and say there isn’t the occasion that I don’t crave some of that nostalgic food. I could make it sound cool and call it retro, but that would be deceitful. I don’t make this stuff every once-in-a-while because I’m trying to be hip in an old school, supper club kinda way. I make it because I actually like some of these dishes and they bring back memories of helping my Grandma frost orange cookies and divvy up ice in the fancy, colored crystal water glasses reserved for special occasions.
I spoke to my Grandma last week, the day before Thanksgiving, and told her I made her cranberry recipe with the pineapple and walnuts. She said—Oh, I remember that one, I haven’t made it in so long. They just don’t make salads like that anymore.
I wanted to clear up with her that it wasn’t exactly a salad, but in her mind it most certainly is, and further more, she’s tired of all those froufrou salads with big leaves of bitter lettuce and hard to digest raw onions.
So if this holiday you are pining for a bit of the past I highly recommend this Jell-O salad. It has great texture, not too sweet, and all held together by wonderfully supple gelatin. If you are still feeling insecure about serving such a dish, pour it into a pretty mold and call it Gelée, everything sounds better in French.
Cranberry-Walnut Jell-O Salad
A vintage Thanksgiving recipe of chopped cranberries, orange, celery, and walnuts enrobed in cherry Jell-O.
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries, rinsed
- 1/2 medium orange, quartered
- 3 ounce box cherry Jell-O
- 1 cup boiling water
- 8 ounce can crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Combine cranberries and orange (rind and all) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a medium heat-proof bowl, dissolve Jell-O in the boiling water. Add cranberry mixture and stir to combine. Refrigerate until partially set, about an hour.
- Stir in pineapple with its juices, celery and walnuts. Pour into a mold or 8-inch square dish and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours more.
- To unmold the gelatin, run a butter knife around the edge of the mold, then dip in enough hot water to come about three-quarters of the way up the sides for about 10 seconds. Wet the plate or tray you will be serving it on (this will help slide it into place) and place the plate on top of the mold. Invert the mold and shake gently to loosen. Slide gelatin where you want it on the plate and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g
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