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dtremit

Seeking a long lost cranberry Jell-O salad recipe

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I've been searching for years for a specific creamy cranberry Jell-O salad that was a favorite of my mother's; sadly the recipe got lost somewhere along the line. I don't think it was an original, probably out of a common cookbook or a pamphlet or something. I have found a few similar ones, and I can probably recreate it from what I remember and some tinkering, but I figure it's worth a shot.

 

What I am sure was in the recipe:

  • Cranberries in some form
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Walnuts (or nuts, generally -- my family tended to put walnuts in anything that called for nuts)


What I think was also in it:

  • Sour cream -- definitely some kind of creamy element
  • Lemon Jell-O
  • Celery

 

What was not in it, but is in a lot of similar recipes I've seen:

  • Strawberry Jell-o
  • Pineapple
  • Marshmallows

 

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

 

As gratitude for searching the memory banks, I'll post the (non-creamy) cranberry salad recipe from the other side of my family, which is surprisingly different, but also good. 

 

Cranberry Jell-O Salad

1 lb. (4 cups) cranberries
1 juice orange (i.e., a thin-skinned orange for juicing)
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 pkgs. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped walnuts

 

Grind cranberries and unpeeled orange together in food processor (or food grinder if you're retro); add sugar and let stand.

Dissolve Jello in hot water; chill until partially set.

Mix Jell-o and cranberry mixture with all other ingredients.

Pour into serving bowl and let stand until firm. 

To mold the salad, it's best to reduce the water by 1/2 cup.

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Hi @dtremit

 

My mom in law is very fond of a similar lime-jello / cream cheese recipe ...

 

Well, I pulled out my mom-in-laws old Church club cook books and here is what I found - I hope it is in some way helpful ... 

"Christmas Cranberry Salad" 

1 Can Whole Cranberry Sauce

16 Large Marshmallows

1 Small Can Crushed Pineapple (undrained) (you can sub Mandarin Oranges)

1 (3oz) pkg Strawberry Jell-O

1 (8oz) pkg Cream Cheese

1/2 C Pecans, chopped 

 

Melt Marshallows (medium heat) with crushed pineapple (oranges) and Jell-O.

When Marshmallows are melted, add the rest of ingredients. 

Chill. 

 

I went looking on the internet for a similar recipe and found a similar one here at Taste of Home ~ they used heavy whipping cream instead of cream cheese and people subbed in Mandarin Oranges instead of (apples?, I think it was) ... I hope this is somewhat helpful and steers you more in the right direction. 

 

Good luck! 

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My mother did something along the lines of a creamy lemon Jello with nuts and fruit in it. I'm pretty sure it included sour cream, as @dtremit suggests. I don't have her recipe cards at hand, but I can check with my sister to see what she remembers about it.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Here's one I used to use.  Haven't thought of it for a few years since I don't do big dinners now.

Josie Speight  was a nurse I worked with for 20 years. She was a twin and had an enormous family, thought nothing of doing T-Day  or other holiday dinners for  FORTY.  i was invited a few times.

 

JOSIE’S CRANBERRY GELATIN SALAD

 

2  cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 (6-oz) pkg ORANGE gelatin powder

1 cup boiling water

1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese -- softened

1/2 pint sour cream

2 cans mandarin orange segments, 11oz -- well drained 

1 cup ORANGE soda  You can substitute orange juice  but add a rounded tablespoon of sugar.

1/2 cup pecans -- chopped

 

 

Combine first three ingredients in saucepan and cook till cranberries pop and mixture thickens

set aside to cool.

Dissolve gelatin in water. 

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with sour cream until fluffy. 

Stir in gelatin and beat until smooth and color is evenly blended.

Stir in oranges, cranberries, soda and pecans. 

Chill until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. 

 Pour into a 13" x 9" x 2" dish. Refrigerate for 3 - 4 hours or till firm.

Cut into squares.

Can be garnished by a dollop of sweetened sour cream and a mandarin orange segment if desired.  

Sometimes I use a fine zester to get long, very fine strings of orange zest and make curls of this on top of each square.  

 

12 servings

 

This is for a dinner salad.  Some people like to substitute Mascarpone for the sour cream but it is not to my taste.  

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Maybe the sour cream / whipping cream / cream cheese thing is regional??? 


I have an EpiPen ... my friend gave it to me when he was dying ... it seemed very important to him that I have it ... 

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3 hours ago, CatIsHungry said:

Maybe the sour cream / whipping cream / cream cheese thing is regional??? 

 

It's one of the "classic"  Jell-O  strawberry molded salads  in a Jell-O booklet that was featured and given away with the Tupperware gelatin molds - in the '60s.  Made with sweetened frozen strawberries, bananas, crushed pineapple, walnuts, cream cheese, sour cream and topped with whipped cream.  Later it was modified by omitting the bananas, subbing  drained crushed pineapple and/or mandarin oranges (when the canned product became available in most supermarkets).  I read that the original recipe was a Jell-O contest winner in the late 1950s that was sponsored by Jell-O in conjunction with Bird's Eye which had just introduced sweetened frozen strawberries in a box so the product was like a brick..

 

I lived next door to a regional Tupperware distributor who held "intro" parties for her sales people and I catered many of her parties.  Besides paying me, she gave me a lot of Tupperware, including some of the items only for the hostesses.  I had several of the molds in both sizes and a stack of the Jell-O  booklets that featured that  "salad" that could double as a dessert because it was quite sweet.

Later people made all kinds of changes to the basic recipe.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Oh, yes!   Coming from an in-law from a previous generation:

 

Madelaine's jello mold.

2 packages raspberry Jello

1 pint fresh raspberries

1 pint sour cream

 

Use only half the boiling liquid normally called for in making simple Jello.   Combine with other ingredients.   

 

 

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22 hours ago, dtremit said:

As gratitude for searching the memory banks, I'll post the (non-creamy) cranberry salad recipe from the other side of my family, which is surprisingly different, but also good. 

 

Cranberry Jell-O Salad

1 lb. (4 cups) cranberries
1 juice orange (i.e., a thin-skinned orange for juicing)
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 pkgs. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped walnuts

 

Grind cranberries and unpeeled orange together in food processor (or food grinder if you're retro); add sugar and let stand.

Dissolve Jello in hot water; chill until partially set.

Mix Jell-o and cranberry mixture with all other ingredients.

Pour into serving bowl and let stand until firm. 

To mold the salad, it's best to reduce the water by 1/2 cup.

 

This is very similar to what we'll have tomorrow (and again Christmas, and very possibly between the two). Mine uses raspberry instead of lemon Jell-O, no celery (horrors!), pecans instead of walnuts, and adds chopped apples.

 

We did, in fact, grind the fruit in the sausage grinder. I do it in a food processor now.

 

I've had, but never made, the creamy one. Have also had one with a gelled cranberry base and a creamy layer on top. No recipes for either. @andiesenji's recipe sounds right.

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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@kayb  And yours is front and center on Food52 this whole week! Wow :)

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I was foolishly excited about all that. I have to think my Mama would be pleased.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Y'all scroll down and you will see the image that links :)  Mama's cranberry salad

 

https://food52.com/


Edited by heidih (log)
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11 hours ago, andiesenji said:

Here's one I used to use.  Haven't thought of it for a few years since I don't do big dinners now.

Josie Speight  was a nurse I worked with for 20 years. She was a twin and had an enormous family, thought nothing of doing T-Day  or other holiday dinners for  FORTY.  i was invited a few times.

 

JOSIE’S CRANBERRY GELATIN SALAD

 

2  cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 (6-oz) pkg ORANGE gelatin powder

1 cup boiling water

1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese -- softened

1/2 pint sour cream

2 cans mandarin orange segments, 11oz -- well drained 

1 cup ORANGE soda  You can substitute orange juice  but add a rounded tablespoon of sugar.

1/2 cup pecans -- chopped

 

This sounds a lot closer to what I remember than anything I've found online -- thank you! I'm wondering if the recipe we made was a simplification of something like this. I had rejected the notion of cream cheese being involved because I was sure there was sour cream, but maybe they were both involved...

 

Funnily enough, I think the recipe my mom used was from my aunt, who was also a twin. I asked her years ago if she still had a copy and she never remembered having had the recipe in the first place!

 

(Edited to add: the first three ingredients are basically whole berry cranberry sauce, and if you were molding it instead of making in a dish, you'd probably have reduced the liquid. I think I'm going to try omitting the cup of soda, use lemon Jell-O, and see where it gets me...)


Edited by dtremit (log)
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4 hours ago, kayb said:

 

This is very similar to what we'll have tomorrow (and again Christmas, and very possibly between the two). Mine uses raspberry instead of lemon Jell-O, no celery (horrors!), pecans instead of walnuts, and adds chopped apples.

 

We did, in fact, grind the fruit in the sausage grinder. I do it in a food processor now.

 

The celery flavor is actually pretty hard to notice in this particular salad -- it mostly adds texture. I like it, but then, I like Cel-Ray soda.

 

I could imagine the apples being quite a nice swap, particularly something like a Granny Smith.

 

As for the pecans, I think my Depression-era grandparents were too frugal to put them into a Jell-O salad! Walnuts were much cheaper for us.

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We had pecan trees. Pecans were plentiful, and my cooking shows it. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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4 hours ago, kayb said:

We had pecan trees. Pecans were plentiful, and my cooking shows it. 

Where I grew up in western Kentucky we had several pecan groves and a couple were very old and the trees were huge.  There were not as many in the "old" groves because many had been cut down for the lumber, probably a hundred years earlier.  

The younger groves produce more nuts but not as large as the older trees.

My grandparents cook used a lot of pecans in cooking and baking and candy making.  The Divinity she made was loaded with pecans. I have tried hundreds of times to duplicate it but have never succeeded in getting that evasive flavor.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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@dtremit were  you able to make your cranberry Jell-O salad? 

 

I was just just wondering earlier in the thread if the addition of cream cheese in some of these Jell-O salads was a regional thing - seems to be prevalent in the South ... I was not remarking on anyone’s original recipe - or disparaging any classic recipes etc. 😁


I have an EpiPen ... my friend gave it to me when he was dying ... it seemed very important to him that I have it ... 

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