Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lime Jello Salad . . .

... or Mouldy Moldy Salad, as we kids used to call it to tease our mother. My mother served this Jello salad at Thanksgiving and Christmas for as long as I can clearly remember those holidays. She must have started sometime in the 50s, as the WearEver aluminum ring mold that's shown here is what she always used and it comes from the late 50s. In my family, not having this molded gelatin concoction at the Thansgiving table would border on the unforgiveable.

On the handwritten 3x5 recipe card, it says that the recipe came from Jeanne Bryant, a friend of my mother's from our church potluck dinners that we attended on Sunday nights in the Fellowship Hall of the Davis Community Church (what memories I'm having!). From the first time my mother put this on our dinner table, she was not allowed not to make it every holiday season. We children would jump up and down in her kitchen chanting "mouldy moldy salad! mouldy moldy salad!", at which my mother would pretend to be annoyed. The salad always appeared on her Thanksgiving table; of such are loving memories and traditions made. My mother is gone now and although it's been a number of years, I'm particularly missing her as I write this.

I inherited my mother's mouldy moldy salad ring mold and every Thanksgiving I bring it down from the top of my kitchen cupboard, wash and dry it and set it out to receive this time-honored, if a little old fashioned, treat.

Before I assembled the recipe today, I thought of low carbing it by using diet Jello and reducing the fat content by using low or no-fat ingredients. Not only could I just then feel my mother cringe at such blasphemous thoughts, it occurred to me that some things are sacrosanct and just shouldn't be messed with. When the salad is un-molded for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I'll take a photo and put it on this post. Note: 11/2008, it took 2 years, but I finally remembered to take a photo.

Lime Jello Salad (or Moldy Salad)
Recipe courtesy of Skip Hills via Jeanne Bryant
1 large package lime Jello brand gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 #2 can* crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 cup canned milk, such as Carnation
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped finely
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, dissolve the Jello in the boiling water, stirring until all the gelatin has melted and the liquid is clear. Allow to cool to below lukewarm.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, gently using a wire whisk. Having a few lumps of mayo here and there is part of this salad's charm.
Pour into a 12-cup mold of your choice and chill until the gelatin is completely set.**
To un-mold, fill your kitchen sink with about 3 inches of very hot water.
Quickly dip the mold into the hot water, half-way up the sides, for just a few seconds, taking care not to splash water onto the gelatin.
Take the plate or platter you wish to present your molded salad on and place it over the top of the mold.
Holding the mold and the plate firmly in your grasp, flip the whole thing over and give it a quick up and down shake.
The gelatin should gently drop onto the serving plate. If it doesn't, repeat the process with the hot water dip. It's important to not leave the mold in the hot water for more than a few seconds as it will melt the gelatin at the edges and compromise your presentation.

Cook's Notes:
* This is what the recipe says, a number 2 can. Since I don't know what size that is, I've been using a 20-ounce can and it has worked just fine.
** This gelatin mixture will set up much faster than regular jello because less liquid is used. I put it in the fridge just over an hour ago and it's already set. It will hold, unmolded in the fridge for several days.


  1. I recall my mother doing two things the night before Thanksgiving: Making a Jello salad and then mopping up the kitchen floor. I do not htink the two were related!

    I think I may need do whip up a similar salad today. If I start now...

  2. Wonderful post. It's things like this--the recipe, the ring mold--that make our memories come alive. Moldy salad!! Great name!

  3. Ah yes, Mimi, the kitchen floor was always mopped late in the evening the night before the big day.

    It sure brought back some great memories writing this, Sher. And we actually called it "moldy" salad because it was green... mold is green... w3e we're rather irreverent children. I see that I've misspelled it in several places. I'll fix that when I post the last photo.

  4. This was a favorite of our family when we celebrated holiday meals together.I equate this with comfort food....always had room for a second helping of this tasty salad!

  5. Thank you for sharing your mother's recipe. Unfortunately, my mother passed away many years ago, but I remember this salad well...I was a 1951 baby. By the way, you were right on the money when you decided on using a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple. Here is a listing from a very old cookbook:
    A picnic size can equals 1 and 1/4 cups or 10 ounces. A No. 1(#1)can equals 2 cups or 16 ounces. A No. 2(#2)can equals 2 and 1/2 cups or 20 ounces. A No. 3(#3)can equals 4 cups or 32 ounces. A No. 10(#10)can equals 13 cups or 6 pounds and10 ounces

  6. Thanks for your can size clarifications, Linda. I remember the #10 cans well, as my dad packed them (empty and clean) with food for our backpacking trips and then used them to boil water and cook in.

  7. This recipe came off of a jello box in the 70's when i was a kid.. its called yum-yum salad. Only difference is moms called for 1pkg lime jello and 1 pkg of lemon jellow. Everything else is the same... we had it every thanksgiving and christmas and i still have it written down from moms recipe box :)

  8. I know there have been many renditions and variations of lime jello salad, Margaret, and I'm sure yours from the box of Jello is one of them. My mother's is dated from around 1957. I can tell you enjoy yours as much as my family enjoys ours. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Two recipes I associate with my Grandma Cox. This is the first one that comes to mind. She loved this and made it for all family reunions
    and also church potlucks!

  10. So happy to find this recipe that is so like I remember my mother making. This will be for St. Patricks day dinner.

  11. Mom made something similar but she added celery & maraschino cherries. She called it Christmas Tree Salad. Of course, she cut it into triangle-shaped pieces to add to that name.

    Interesting story... Mom made this for a church dinner and a friend of the family who HATED cottage cheese ate about four servings of it. He thought it was cut up miniature marshmallows. Once he learned that it was cottage cheese, he wouldn't eat any more! :)


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