Whenever we have a family reunion the food table groans under the weight of many amazing and delicious items. When my gramma was alive there was her famous ham. Now her daughter is continuing that tradition. There's also my aunt's wonderful German potato salad and wilted bacon and spinach salad, hot rolls with butter, green beans, creamed peas and cheese, scalloped potatoes, twice baked chicken in a slow cooker, and lots of lemonade or iced tea to wash it all down with. There is a table dedicated exclusively to desserts. There you find row after row of sliced pies and cakes all individually portioned out on their own plates. Doesn't it just make you hungry? It makes me hungry!
One of the most curious and delicious items are what we call the gelatin salads. We all joke about them but we absolutely have to have them.
My two favorites are creamy Lime Gelatin mold and the Carrot Pineapple Gelatin mold. I also really like red gelatin with fruit salad in it. I always eat the gelatin first so it melts in my mouth not on my plate. I finally figured out how Gramma got the dang mold out on to the plate in one piece so I'm going to share that with you. Most of the time we don't bother with the fancy mold. We just put it in a square cake pan and scoop it out with large spoons.
The children love this and it's a way to get them to eat some vegetables or fruit!
Lime Gelatin Salad
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained, save the liquid ( and don't use fresh pineapple. Fresh keeps the gelatin from getting thick for some reason. Ask your chemistry teacher.)
1 package (6 ounces) lime gelatin
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are really good)
Add enough water to pineapple juice to make 1 3/4 cups liquid. Heat to boiling. Add to gelatin and stir until dissolved. Chill until slightly thickened.
In large bowl, place cottage cheese. Add crushed pineapple then add lime gelatin. Add nuts. Pour into pan or mold and chill until set.
Carrot Pineapple Gelatin Salad
2 packages (3 ounces each) orange gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup ice water
1 can (9 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are nice)
Empty gelatin packages into small mixing bowl. Stir in boiling water. Stir until gelatin has dissolved. Then stir in ice water crushed pineapple with juice, lemon juice and salt.
Chill in refrigerator until gelatin starts to thicken.
Then gently fold in grated carrots until well mixed. Put mixture in pan or mold. Refrigerate until firm.
Cherry Gelatin With Fruit Cocktail
2 packages (3 ounces each) raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup ice water
1 can (9 ounces) fruit cocktail
Empty gelatin packages into small mixing bowl. Stir in boiling water. Stir until gelatin has dissolved. Then stir in ice water and chill in refrigerator until gelatin starts to thicken.
Then gently fold in fruit cocktail until well mixed. Put mixture in pan or mold. Refrigerate until firm.
How to Unmold the Gelatin
Make sure the gelatin is completely firm. Dip a small pointed knife in warm water and run the tip of it around top edge of the mold to loosen it, or moisten the tips of your fingers and gently pull the gelatin away from top edge of the mold.
Now dip the mold in warm water. I fill my sink with warm tap water. Don't use hot water. It will melt the gelatin. Dip the mold just to the rim in the warm water for about 10 seconds. Lift it out and maybe shake it a little bit to see if it's loosened. Then carefully invert it on your plate. (Tip: Chilling the plate beforehand will keep the gelatin from melting right away.) If the gelatin doesn't release easily, dip the mold in warm water again but only for a few seconds. I actually had to dip mine for two 10 second periods and it came out real nice.
No jokes, please! Just enjoy!