If you want to add some midcentury flair to your upcoming Thanksgiving or Holiday feast, Cranberry Soufflé is a classic. This is one of maybe two gelatin salads that I actually remember my grandmother making during my lifetime, and it was served almost exclusively for Thanksgiving. I wouldn't eat it back then, though, because I … Continue reading Cranberry Soufflé Salad
This nameless recipe was written on the back of an old piece of While You Were Out stationery from a local printing company. The company appears to have vanished but I'd guess from the font and format that it is from the 70's. The logo letters look a lot like the font used in the … Continue reading Orange Pineapple Cheddar Salad
Here is another old recipe from my grandma's files. This one was difficult to date, but I am leaning toward 1940's or possibly 1950's. If it were up to me, which it kind of is, I would rename this Lime Pineapple Grapefruit Salad. Grapefruit turned out to be the dominant flavor here. Grapefruit was especially … Continue reading Lime Pineapple Salad
When I discovered this cucumber jelly recipe I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t also try the cheese sandwich. The sandwich falls outside the parameters of my gelatin blog, but I’ve tossed around the idea of posting it there anyway. After giving it some thought I decided its first home should be here.
These recipes come from a book called When You Entertain by Eleanor Lee Wright, published in 1932 by Wilson & Company. The entire digitized book is available on Archive.org. In addition to recipes, the book includes menus, table settings and tips for entertaining.
Some Historical Context
I am far from an expert on American food in the 1930’s, but generally speaking a housewife at that time would gravitate toward inexpensive yet attractive dishes. Table setting and food presentation were very important components of every meal. It was about this time…
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While my purpose for recreating these old gelatin recipes is not to make fun of my grandparents' generation, it's recipes like these that make it oh so tempting. Who thought that combining tuna, boiled eggs, pickles and celery with jello would be a good idea? Congealed tuna salad? I suppose if times are tough you … Continue reading Molded Tuna Salad
Between 1940 and 1962, Hollywood movie stars and celebrities frequented a popular Beverly Hills restaurant called Romanoff's. This is where Not-a-Real-Prince "Prince" Michael Romanoff popularized a dessert called Strawberries Americaine Style, originally created by the Carlton Hotel's Chef Auguste Escoffier in the 1920's, and boldly renamed it Strawberries Romanoff. A twist on the classic strawberries … Continue reading Strawberry Romanoff Jel-low
This molded rice custard from 1967 is surprisingly delicious.
This 1950's-era Emerald Salad recipe has been on my list for a while now, mostly because I have THREE of them. One of the recipe cards is handwritten by my grandmother and another was typed on a typewriter, probably by my great aunt Nell. My grandma's name is written at the top, meaning she was … Continue reading Emerald Salad Ring
I picked up a vintage cookbook the other day at the local antique store, as well as an unopened roll of 60's vinyl kitchen contact paper. Of the gelatin recipes this one was the most orange. A perfect visual companion to the vinyl. Orange Delight Dessert From Hello Neighbor: 1968 Cookbook by KOA Radio 85. … Continue reading Orange Delight Dessert, 1968
To celebrate Halloween, I thought I’d do something a bit more modern. This recipe is most likely from the 1930’s or 1940’s, though the image source (chronicallyvintage.com) suggests the possibility of it being even later. There are a few clues that indicate 1940’s or earlier: the font, ingredients, and the spelling of the word Hallowe’en.
Fun fact: Spelling Halloween with the apostrophe is actually grammatically correct and was how children learned how to spell it in school. It is a shortened version of Hallows Eve. Over time, a grammatical error actually became the norm and now it is rare (and a little strange) to see it spelled with an apostrophe.
Before we get started with this molded monstrosity, let’s briefly talk history.
Gelatin and the Rise of Convenience Foods
Gelatin and jellied foods have existed for centuries, long before Jell-O patented its instant formula in 1897. Because of its convenience…
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