Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Jell-o Project: Lime with Pears

These are my grandma's Jello-0 molds. I believe they used to mold a salad called shrimp aspic. I wanted to make them a part of our family tradition in the traditional Jell-o way. For some reason, Jell-o of yesteryear contained things like vegetables, Miracle Whip, and meat. It makes no sense to put those things into a sugary, wobbly mold, but those crazy culinary risk-takers did it anyway.

For some reason, our forefathers and foremothers did not question this weird trend. They embraced it. They served it on a lettuce leaf with a dollop of mayonnaise on top.

This fascinates me. What was it about our ancestors that allowed them to eat things like Tuna Delight Salad Mold and Lemon Beet Jell-o Salad and still want to try Pineapple Cucumber Lime Jell-o salad the next day? Have our taste buds evolved? Or, could I condition my family to eat and enjoy such concoctions?

I started subtly: green Jell-o with pears.

I don't think I will ever be able to bring myself to use mayonnaise as a topping, so I opted for whipped cream.

I got mixed reviews. Isaac, of course hated it. Well, he loved it, except for the pears and lettuce. Ethan ate it, reluctantly. Jonah loved it and even ate the lettuce, which I told him he could skip. He then asked for seconds.

I'm going to do another fruit inspired molded Jell-o salad this week and next week my family will be subjected to Jell-o with vegetables!

Tonight: Apricot Cottage Cheese Jell-o with Lemon Juice


I-Shüan Warr said...

That is the most beautiful picture of jello that I've ever seen. Let's see what you can do with the "Tuna Delight Salad Mold"! (Why is it that recipes with the word "delight" in them are always something to be wary of? And why do they put the word "mold" in something you're supposed to eat?
Jello is fascinating. Can't wait to hear the further adventures of the Nelson Family and their Jello!

shiguy4076 said...

While I am not a fan of Jello myself that was a masterpiece of jello beauty. I've never seen jellow look so pretty.

dawnalee said...

I would definitely blend the cottage cheese fairly smooth before adding to this next concoction. Lumpy cottage cheese in Jell-O is just too vomitrocious in my humble opinion.

Awesome molds!

Allyson said...

Wow, the jello actually looked mouth-watering good! Great picture and presentation!

Samurai Mom said...

I look forward eagerly to jello with vegetables.

Erika said...

Yes, I agree with blending up the cottage cheese--we don't care for the lumpy, curdly texture it offers. You know, I rarely at jello growing up in CA but here in Utah it's a Sunday staple. Lime with pears (have to be homecanned and I use the pear juice as my cold liquid) and orange with mandarin oranges (again, use the juice) are two of our favorites and a great way to rotate food storage.

My sister makes shrimp aspic each Christmas and just looking at the stuff makes me want to gag.

a said...

You have too much time on your hands, obviously! Go ahead and come clean my house! hahahaha

claire said...

I bought some jello molds at an antique store years ago and when I am feeling nostalgic I use them for sunday dinner. As far as I'm concerned, the fruit additions are pretty tame. I do remember my mom eating the lime/pear variety with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese on top, but I pretty much just stick with frozen raspberries and bananas and mandarin oranges. Not sure why people look so disparagingly on jello, although I have to say it is pretty surprising the kind of things that pass for "salads" in some ward cookbooks. I actually have a recipe for a candybar salad in one of mine. And have you tried the creamy jello with a pudding mix-in? When I tried it it tasted sickeningly sweet, like the glucose you drink before a diabetes test. Maybe its just me.

Afton said...

Claire, that's funny because Gwen remembers the lime/pear jello topping as mayonnaise and shredded carrot. Sour cream/shredded cheese sounds much less offensive.

Anna said...

it was actually mayonnaise and shredded cheese. So they were both wrong - and so is eating a dollop of mayo, that is just wrong.