December 7, 2009

Grandma's Cranberry Jello Salad

Hello, everyone! I started writing this post last week, but then finals caught up to me and I finally got around to finishing it today. Along with the recipe for my dad's favorite Thanksgiving dish, my grandma's cranberry jello salad, there are some pictures at the end of the post of our second Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, we had a second Thanksgiving dinner. I easily could have gone for a third and a fourth because I love Thanksgiving so very much, but I had to settle for just two.

The menu for our second dinner was pretty standard turkey day stuff, except there was no turkey. We went for a goose instead, and we were all pleasantly surprised by it. This was my first time having goose, unless you count the force-fed liver variety, and it was really good! It's comparable to the dark meat of a chicken or turkey. When I walk past all the geese in the park I now think "mmm...lunch" instead of "quit pooping everywhere." In other exciting goose news, my brother took the fat home with him to make fries. I've been told that he took pictures and that they were delicious, so hopefully he'll share those one of these days.

For now, here is my grandma's recipe for cranberry jello salad. Also, Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Cranberry Jello Salad

1 lb. cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 large can crushed pineapple
2 envelopes Knox plain gelatin
1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2-1 cup pecans, chopped
16 oz. container sour half & half
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Here's the actual recipe card that my Grandma gave to my mom. I wish I could still write in cursive. Dang!


Rinse the cranberries and pick out any bad seeds.

My mom (and I'm assuming my grandma) always uses the KitchenAid grinder attachment to grind the cranberries. You can probably pulverize them by other means as well - maybe a food processor or your really strong fists. Just kidding about the fists. Unless you are indeed really, really strong.

Grind the cranberries into a large bowl, stir in the sugar, and set it aside.

While the sugar and cranberries mix, measure out the orange juice concentrate.

Pour the packets of gelatin into 1/2 cup of cool water.

Drain the pineapple, but reserve the juice in a measuring cup.

Add water to the pineapple juice until you have 1 1/2 cups liquid. Bring it to a boil, and then add the gelatin mixture.

Add the orange juice and gelatin mixture to the cranberries.

Add the chopped pecans.

As well as the pineapple.

Stir everything together and pour it into a large dish - either a large, round dish or a 9x13" dish. Refrigerate until set.

Once the gelatin mixture is made, combine the sour half & half with the marshmallows and refrigerate it. It's best to do this several hours before you're going to eat, but if you forget it is fine if eaten right away.

As you can see, it's not your typical jello mold with random objects suspended in it. It's a far more sophisticated dish that can only be achieved with the holy trinity of gourmet ingredients: canned pineapple, orange juice concentrate, and gelatin.

Here is the rest of our Thanksgiving #2 menu:

Dill mashed potatoes.

Boil a bunch of potatoes until fork-tender. Mash with any combination of butter, cream, milk, sour cream, plain yogurt, and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and add as much chopped fresh dill as you can handle.

Southwest Corn, Chili and Cumin Saute from Bon Appetit, November 2002

Goose with Port Sauce and Chestnut Stuffing from Saveur.


More goose.

My brother's pretty plate.

My brother's plan to make a pumpkin pie for dessert fell through, so we ate some of these amazing mint-filled brownies from Noble Pig.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have the 'new' recipe for the cranberry salad. the old one called for strawberry jello. love you dsmalw

December 07, 2009  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Interesting... Do you make it the old way? Or do you make it at all?

December 08, 2009  
Blogger kenikeia said...

Wow, I've been using this "new" recipe for 30+ years and never heard of an earlier one!

December 08, 2009  

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