Jellied Cranberry Salad

JelliedCranFuzzy.gifThis recipe was passed down from my mother-in-law who was a homemaker during the golden age of Jell-O. Now, as a kid growing up, I was never a fan of Jell-O, not sure why... Maybe the fact that it seemed to be alive with all that wiggling? Regardless, I was never a fan. I did like jellied cranberry sauce, after all what is a leftover turkey sandwich without a good cranberry sauce?

Ok so here’s the scene, I am a newly engaged 20 something having my first Thanksgiving Dinner with my in-laws to-be. My husband’s parents were gracious and kind people who presented a holiday spread straight from a Norman Rockwell painting. The table was beautifully set and everything looked amazing. After giving thanks everyone dug in and plates were passed around. My husband to-be hands me a crystal bowl with a very colorful jellied something in it...

“What is this?” I whispered.

“It’s good, try it,” he said “it's one of my favorites,” As I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I’m going to have to make Jell-O… he likes Jell-O, I hate Jell-O!” I placed a spoonful on my plate.

Well, after eating just about everything else on my plate I figured I had to at least try this sort-of wiggly gelatinous spoonful, to be polite. And...

It was wonderful, tangy, yet sweet and it hardly giggled at all and it crunched! I loved it and it has graced our Thanksgiving table ever since.

Now, Jell-O, the commercial out of the package Jell-O is full of all kinds of yuck and reminds me of strange space-aged weirdness.

But Jellied Cranberry Salad, pure delight. True, it does contain quite a bit of sugar, however cranberries are very tart so the sugar is a necessary evil and in the big picture, a serving won’t contain all that much. The unflavored gelatin holding it all together is really quite healthy and the nuts and celery that give it crunch aren’t too shabby either. So take it from a lifelong Jell-O hater, this is a wiggly treat everyone can love.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving to remember, from our home to yours. ~ Diana

Jellied Cranberry Salad

4 cups of cranberries (Try local cranberries from Paradise Hill Farm in Vincetown, NJ)

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup of boiled water

1/4 cup of cold water

1 1/2 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

3/4 cup of chopped walnuts

3/4 cup of chopped celery (Try Oley Valley Organic for local celery)


Boil 1 cup of water. Add cranberries and boil together until cranberries crack open.

Dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water.

Add gelatin mixture to hot cranberries.

Add lemon juice, celery and nuts. Chill until set.

Looks lovely in a glass bowl and stays firm enough to be put in a mold.

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