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.
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.’
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.
Canned 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.
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:
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