They are a hallmark of bygone days, incredibly retro and subject to some of the most odd flavor combinations and texture experiments ever born. Most consider them a novelty, at best, and something to be avoided at the family reunion at the very least.

I’m talking about the humble molded salad. Mixtures of reconstituted powder, canned fruit, whipped cream substitutes and who knows what else.

And I’m on a mission to find the good ones.

I’ve never been a huge fan of gelatin desserts but there was just something about the ones I had last month that really appealed to my taste buds.

  • They were sweet without being heavy.
  • The basic ingredients–gelatin, fruit, cream–aren’t inherently bad for you.
  • They are cold, perfect for the summer heat.

Oh, sure, there are some scary specimens out there. We’ve all seen them. Maybe even made some.

I tried to be inventive and use some of the things we had in our pantry to make my own version. We had cherry jell-o, canned fruit cocktail and a jar of marshmallow fluff (the latter leftover from a holiday project–honestly, I don’t usually keep these sorts of things around). I thought that the fluff would stand-in okay for the Cool Whip that seems to be a standard.

I thought wrong.

The fluff did not… mesh well with the gelatin. Oh, it tasted fine, but the texture was a bit off and the portion of the gelatin that I mixed with the fluff didn’t fully gel again, there was a bit of wateriness going on that made serving it with a slotted spoon a necessity.

There’s tons of these recipes on the ‘net–far too many for me to test and weed out the diamonds among the roughage–so I’d really love it if you’d point me in the direction of your favorites, the ones you’ve tried, your tricks with them. I’ll test the ones that seem the most promising and share my findings. This goes for the next month and a half–til the end of summer–but don’t wait. Even *I*, with my voracious sweet tooth, can only test so many options in the next 6 weeks!

One thought on “Jell-O-bsessed

  1. My ex-almost-stepmother (long story) made the best one I’ve had. It was a box of raspberry jello, a can of whole-berry cranberry sauce, some sour cream, a little chopped celery, and some chopped walnuts. Strange and delicious.

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