Saturday, May 20, 2017

Oh, Jell No!

Since the weather is heating up and weird gelatin recipes are always popular, here's a Saturday Seven for your reading enjoyment. We'll start with "soup" from Bach's Lunch: Picnic & Patio Classics (the Junior Committee, Severance Hall to benefit Cleveland Orchestra, 5th printing, 1974):

I love mushrooms, but I can't say as I've ever particularly wanted to eat them suspended in gelatin. At least the recipe calls for unflavored gelatin, chicken stock, and lemon juice rather than lemon Jell-O!

And now for a parade of salads to follow the soup (though I'm not really sure how we're supposed to tell the difference). For a protein fix, you can have this entry from Cook Book: Favorite Recipes from Our Best Cooks (the Bethany Club of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Farrell, PA, ca. 1982):

It starts sounding yummy enough, with lemon Jell-O and cream cheese. Throw that in a graham cracker crust and I'd happily eat it. Instead, though, this gets loaded up with the cucumbers and hard-cooked eggs of the title plus celery and onion.

If your gelled protein of choice is shrimp instead of eggs, Margaret Mitchell's Mealtime Magic Cookbook (1964) offers an option:

Astoundingly, only the shrimp topping for Senate Salad is suspended in lemon gelatin. The lemony shrimp squares are just a garnish for the artichoke heart, grapefruit, tomato, celery, Cheddar, olive, and green onion salad. (And what a lovely assortment that sounds like, with or without congealed crustaceans!)

If you're more hardcore into seafood-and-gelatin, Alaska's Cooking (Anchorage Woman's Club, fifth printing, 1965) offers this less traditional take on tuna salad:

I couldn't decide whether to represent Portal to Good Cooking (Women's American ORT, 1959) with another way not to serve cucumbers or with another classic salad that should probably not be jellied, so you're getting both:

Which is scarier for you? Grated cucumbers and minced onion in jellified mayo mixed with cream cheese, or a lemon Jell-O coleslaw mold? (I think I'd rather eat jellied Purell than either of these.)

And finally, just to make sure we get our deep green leafy vegetables, an offering from Polk-Pourri (Polk Public Museum of Lakeland, Florida, 1979):

Yes, Florentine Salad is indeed lemon Jell-O loaded up with spinach (plus cottage cheese, mayo, celery, and onion). I sincerely doubt that this recipe is a beloved Italian favorite.

Happy Saturday! Spend the weekend thinking about ways to convert beloved classics into scary molds. (I'm imagining Summer Chili Aspic and Jell-Lo Mein right now.)

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