PROVO, UT, March 8, 2014—Gelatin is a strange substance. When playing the vegetable, mineral or animal game, the winning answer is animal. It is derived from collagen, that stuff we fret over as we age and our skin begins to sag.
In the 60’s fruit flavored gelatin became liberated from its dessert designation leaping the divide between sweet and savory by achieving the distinction as a salad ingredient. Well-meaning mothers and home-econ teachers across the nation experimented with wild abandon creating such delights as Green Onion Salad, and the ever enigmatic Luncheon Salad containing canned corned beef, green peppers and lemon Jell-O.
Not all Jell-O salads developed in the 60’s were bizarre and unappetizing. Untold numbers of fruity, fluffy, creamy dessert recipes were crafted in home kitchens. Fortunately for all, as fruited meat-Jell-O salads fell from favor, their dessert counterparts have trundled along making appearances at church buffets and potlucks.
It is possible that gelatin salads will never again attain the popularity they once held, but that is no reason to avoid making one. Eating Jell-O salad is a nostalgic event evocative of barefooted summers, church picnics, and apron-wearing grandmas in wood-paneled kitchens stirring up a dessert to go with Sunday dinner.
Journey back in time to a simpler day when Jell-O salads were a favorite accompaniment, and families actually sat down to eat together.
Pink Jell-O Fluff
1 (3 ounce) box raspberry Jell-O
1 (16 ounce) container small curd cottage cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to firm peaks
1 (16 ounce) box strawberries, hulled and cut into ½ inch pieces
In a mixing bowl stir Jell-O into cottage cheese. Fold in whipped cream, then strawberries. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to dissolve sugar in Jell-O. Serve.
*Note: Any flavor of Jell-O will work. Mini-marshmallows, chopped pecans, a sliced banana, canned pineapple, or other fruits can be substituted or added to the salad. A 12 ounce container of Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipping cream.