Originally published in March 2010, it seems that Jell-O is a perennial favorite in GriggsDakota.
In the Midwest we are noted for our love of Jello. Why wouldn't we love fruit flavored goodness that can sit on the cupboard shelf for eons and then be transformed with water? I am familiar with the jokes this love affair has inspired. But in GriggsDakota, there is always room for Jell-O. We have eaten lots of Jell-O. Farmer Fred's aunt brought Jell-O with shredded carrots and pineapple to every potluck she ever attended. It became a family favorite.
Do you see the Jell-o on the table? While I was growing up we ate it even more often than we do now. It was served in schools, churches and at home. It is still often the star of family gatherings and church potlucks.
The recipes were carefully chosen from booklets such as this one. These were most often requested by the housewife through the mail, but occasionally distributed by the local store.
This book dates from the twenties when farms in GriggsDakota did not have electricity. But our climate provided ample opportunity to chill Jell-O. A dinner menu suitable for Thanksgiving has been penciled in on this page of the booklet. Pie is mentioned, so the Jell-O would be served as a salad.
Well equipped kitchen might have an assortment of individual jello molds as well as molds for impressive multi-serving platters of jiggly goodness.
These beautiful sketches look like fantasy. The women of GriggsDakota spent time and effort to duplicate these pictures. In the back of the booklet is an offer where you could send in a dollar and order molds through the mail. My grandmother raised chickens and saved egg money to buy elegant stemware. A serving of Flaked Ambrosia, as pictured on the lower right, would cause anyone to fall in love with Jell-O.
Plainer fruit filled Jell-O could be chilled in a serving size mold and served on an elegant plate.
That is the suggestion made in the Salad Supreme recipe on the left. On the right you can see a Shower Salad recipe. This is an elegant recipe reserved for the finest ladies occasion, a shower. Let me explain.
A bride to be and her family are invited to be the guests of honor.
The bride is honored with a program, gifts, and an elegant lunch. It is the community's way of wishing the couple good luck and making sure they will have what they need to start a comfortable home. This tradition lives on in GriggsDakota.
The lunch is served buffet style and the women stand in line to choose from an array of sandwiches and rich desserts, some of which will to this day include Jell-O as an ingredient.
My children grew up making treats from this cookbook.
The copyright on the book is 1977 when Jell-O was becoming modern magic.
We made individual servings of Strawberry Yogurt Poof for Farmer Fred and the rest of the gang.
A meal of kabobs from the grill was often topped off with Jell-O kabobs. We did add fruit chunks to this recipe and the kids especially enjoyed a slice or two of star fruit added to the skewer.
Next week I will post the recipe for Christmas Jell-O, which has been served in GriggsDakota for generations.
Jell-O is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods.