Monday, June 15, 2009

Strawberry Salad Glace

I thought I'd start things off with a little something to pay homage to my roots--the Midwest. Now, my family RARELY made Jello, and we certainly never made Jello molds or Jello salads. Jello was something children or sick people (or college students who wanted to do shots quietly) ate. Jello was not common in my house, however, I did see it quite a bit at potlucks and such when I was growing up. It wasn't until I was about 20, though, that I learned that Jello was not just a dessert for a lot of people. In fact, many Midwesterners eat it as a side dish, including my husband's parents. We went to spend Thanksgiving with them the first year Husband and I were dating, and his grandma brings two flavors of Jello. I thought she brought them for dessert, but no, they were a SIDE! It was all very strange to me, and I must admit that I still haven't grasped the concept of Jello as something that share the plate with the entree.

Well, like I said, I wanted to do something with gelatin, so I picked Strawberry Salad Glace. Holy cow, you guys, it was amazing! I mean, I though I would like it, but I really, really love it. The Jello is all nice and slippery, but then it's like, "Oh, hello! A little ball of cream cheese and walnuts! Where did you come from?!" From heaven, that's where! You know how with cheesecake you get a lot of cream cheese and a little strawberry? This is a lot of strawberry and a little cream cheese, which can be really nice sometimes. The best part is that since it's a salad, you can give yourself permission to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day and not feel bad. I mean...if you wanted to...not that I ever would...

Anyway, on to the recipe. The recipe for Strawberry Salad Glace is one that takes up a whole page in the BC 1950's cookbook, and is complete with step-by-step pictures (black and white, of course). The recipe below is not verbatim.

Strawberry Salad Glace

Ingredients and equipment

One box of strawberry Jello (the big box, not the little one)
Cream cheese
Crushed walnuts
One pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into halves or quarters.
Some sugar
Ring mold or bundt cake pan (lightly greased)

1. Mix Jello according to directions. Refrigerate two hours or until Jello is consistency of egg whites.

2. Shape six ounces of cream cheese into one-inch balls. Roll in walnuts and place evenly around ring mold.

3. Cover with a layer of lightly sugared strawberries.

4. Pour cooled Jello over strawberries and cheese. Chill until set (a few hours).

5. Unmold onto large serving plate.

Betty suggested filling the center hole with mayonnaise mixed with whipped cream. I didn't have any whipped cream, so I just used mayonnaise. Normally I wouldn't do that, but Betty said I ought.

All in all, it was very good. The mayo added a creamy twang, which surprised me. Husband liked it too! Good job Betty!