November 22, 2013

Traditional, Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner - Installment #7: Jello Salad

Last night I met with some ladies for a pre-holiday drink.  And a major topic of discussion was the upcoming Thanksgiving meal.  Turned out that all of us have mid-western roots.  My family comes from Ohio.  So we were all commiserating about the infamous casseroles and "salads" that have been passed down.

Lora's family boasts a "coke salad" which is jello made with coca-cola.  Sara's family does an ambrosia with maricino cherries, whip cream and pineapple chunks in jello.  We were musing about how jello became salad.  Maybe it goes back to WWII when it was harder to get fresh food?  Whatever the reason we all agreed that while the jello salads are strange, they are part of our Thanksgiving meals and secretly we love them?

My family's jello salad is a green jello with cottage cheese, condensed milk and, you guest it, pineapple chunks.  It comes from a woman named Rose Anderson who was a close friend of my Grandma's and a surrogate aunt to my mom and her sisters.  And we make it as part of Thanksgiving dinner ever year.

Since it's pretty easy to make, last year my daughter took over making this dish.  She helps with other things, like kneading the potato rolls, but the jello salad is all hers now.

Jello Salad
2 small packages lime jello
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 small container cottage cheese
1 small can drained, crushed pineapple
1/2 cup mayo
1 small can condensed milk

Mix jello, water, sugar and pineapple juice.  Allow to sit until just soft, but not set.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Chill in fridge until set.

You can make this up to two days ahead of Thanksgiving.  Keep it well covered in the fridge.

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