A Very Retro Thanksgiving Recap


I’m so sorry all… I meant to post this recap on Friday but have been having some technical difficulties.  So please forgive me if turkey is but a memory and you’ve moved on to latkes.

cheese ball hors d'oeuvre

Somewhere between working and traveling and remembering that my roasting pan and gravy boat are still in storage, we had decided to take it easy this year.  And after a few conversations with my parents, where we all agreed that Stovetop Stuffing might just be the most delicious sodium-laden, chemical-laced creation to ever come from box,  ‘easy’ turned into ‘oldschool.’

pillsbury biscuits

The next thing we knew, my mother-in-law was making a jello mold (when was the last time you saw a jello mold?) and my step-dad jumped in with a cheese ball. Now, we’ve discussed my spreadable cheese ball aversion before, when making Auntie Jo’s Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball (check it out here). But I have to admit that his home-made creation wasn’t half bad.  Just some cream cheese, sharp cheddar, Monterrey jack, store-bought chutney, and chopped walnuts. Even better, though, were the pigs in a blanket.  Is there anyone who doesn’t love a pastry-wrapped hot dog? Stick ’em with a frizzle-topped toothpick and they are the height of sophistication. If you’re Bridget Jones’ mother, that is.

jellied sauce and orange sauceCanned jellied cranberry sauce stood proudly next to a delicate citrus cranberry chutney.  (As I’ve said before, multiple cranberry sauce variations are a must). So did sautéed brussels sprouts, and a huge plateful of biscuits (yep, from a can). We even broke out the retro dinnerware.  Platters from my mom’s bridal shower in 1972 held massive amounts of turkey, and my frilly serving apron fit right in.

fresh sprouts

But I can’t get over the jello mold.  What other food could be considered a salad, a side dish, a dessert or even just a decoration?  And, um, it was bright green.  That kinda seals the deal for me. There are a thousand variations on this gelatin/fruit theme (most of them neon) but here are a few to get you started on your way to retro gelatin bliss:

lime jello

CranApple Cheese Mold, Courtesy of the Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn

Grape Jello Mold With Peaches, Courtesy of the Food Librarian

Not Your Grandmother’s Jello Mold, Courtesy of Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm  Comments (11)  
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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What! No canned green beans with mushroom soup? I’ve heard that is de riguer for the American family holiday dinner. Last year I got a seriously chemicaled, sodium impregnated turkey that had sat in the vat too many cycles. I am sure that your boxed stuffing was delicious by comparison. But, did you have a nice dinner with your family? I did. Now I am going to check out the radiation jello salad. I have a recipe for one from the 60s – delicious – and very sweet full of marshmallows and cream cheese :-).

  2. Ah yes, canned cranberries! A great memory from my childhood LOL.
    Looks like a fun Thanksgiving 😀
    *kisses* HH

  3. I have never seen canned cranberry sauce here…I bet you had a great and fun Thanksgiving!

  4. Oh my.. Canned cranberry defenitly brings back lots of memories:) Your Thanksgiving seems to be a lot of fun.

    Have a great week ahead.

  5. Haha, I love it! I’ve been seeing some jello salads at a local store!

  6. This was quite a holiday!

  7. Oh the canned cranberries!! Gotta love em.

  8. It’s always great to kick it back old-school style (with some modern updates, of course.) I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  9. I so love jello molds and Stove Top. Who cares if they’re utterly processed and devoid of nutrition. They make my heart happy. 🙂

    • Haha, Krista, I love the way you explain it. Yes, they make my heart happy too!

  10. I, too, remember jello mold salad and canned cranberries. Happy memories. 🙂

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