When I was a kid, I never really understood why anyone would bother making a jello salad. My old, weird aunt would show up with something green or red, with grapes and canned fruit salad suspended inside. These salads, like coleslaw, were what I used to call ‘filler’ on the table. Why bother if no one likes them?
As many of you know, as you grow older, and move far from home,nostalgia often gets the better of you, and you find yourself with jello salad (or other oddities) on the Christmas table because it wouldnt’ be Christmas dinner without it.
So, today I give you, just in the nick of time for Christmas, two tried, tested and true jello salad recipes.
The first is 5 cup salad, or ambrosia. The second is what has come to be known as the Christmas Fish in my home, an orange jello with pineapple and carrots all set in a fish-shaped mold (it looks like a giant goldfish on the table). It takes tacky jello salad to new heights.
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
1 cup mandarin orange segments (drained)
1 cup white marshmallows
Combine all in a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate up to one day before serving. Particularly lovely when it mingles with the stuffing on your plate.
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2 packets orange jello
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 envelope gelatine soaked in 1 tbsp water
1 cup grated carrot
1 can crushed pineapple with the juice
Combine boiling water with jello and gelatine and combine well. Stir in carrot and pineapple. Place in mold and refrigerate.
To take jello out of the mold, gently dip the top of the mold in warm water and then turn over onto a serving dish.
These two little culinary gems will be on my Christmas dinner table for my Canadian kin-folk. They inspire laughter, and talk of our memories of childhood, when Santa was real, and snow was magical.