Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Birth of a Mormon Tradition: Jello!

Birth of a Mormon Tradition: Jello!

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 13, 2010

I don’t recall ever being served, at home or at a ward function, green gelatin with shredded carrots set in it. I have been served – and have served – all kinds of gelatin concoctions – most of them quite good (raspberries and sour cream, mmmm! cranberries and chopped walnuts, mmmm!), and others … well …

I remember Jell-o’s short-lived 1960s flirtation with vegetable flavored gelatin. Yeah, I can hear your “Ewww!” already. But they were good! If you’re going to put shredded carrots in Jell-o, doesn’t it make more sense to use celery-flavored gelatin than orange or lime? (The four flavors marketed were celery, mixed vegetable, seasoned tomato, and Italian salad. And they were good, whether you believe it or not!)

As I’ve mined the old church magazines for Keepa ideas, I’ve kept an eye out for gelatin recipes and discussions, and after a careful search, I can now announce what I think is the earliest documented gelatin sighting in Mormon history. Woot! Shake the tambourines and blow the horns! It’s the birth of a Mormon tradition!

This recipe appears in an 1898 issue of the Young Woman’s Journal, seven years after Charles Knox invented granulated (but unflavored) gelatin for convenient household use (according to this Kraft Foods history), and a year after sweetened, flavored Jell-o was invented and the year before its inventor sold his process to General Foods (according to this New York Times history).

Orange Baskets

Take good or medium size oranges.

With the point of a sharp knife trace a handle over the bud end of the oranges, then trace the remainder of the basket. Cut and dig out the orange pulp, leaving the peel to form the basket.

The handle and top of basket may be scalloped and the handle tied with small bows of ribbon, or twine a small spray of smilax over the handle.

Fill the basket with orange jelly and whipped cream.

Orange Jelly

To every person allow

1 T. [tsp.] of Knox’s gelatine, soak it in
1 Tb. [tblsp.] cold water. When soaked well add
1 Tb. of boiling water. Melt it. Never stir. Add
2 Tb. sugar. Dissolve.
1 Tb. lemon juice.
2 Tb. orange juice.

Strain and place in mold and put on ice. When set or hard, cut in cubes and pile them up in orange basket and over the top put whipped cream.


Now I know that the following recipes – all legitimate Mormon history because they have been served at Mormon functions (funerals, chapel fundraisers, ward banquets) in my lifetime – are going to invite a chorus of hooting and turned-up noses. ‘S all right. *I* like them, and you might too. Really, you might.

Feel free to contribute your own recipes.

Tomato Aspic Salad

3 cups tomato juice
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1 6-oz. package lemon gelatin
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar

Heat together 2 cups of the tomato juice, bay leaf, celery salt and onion salt to boiling. Remove from heat. Add gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Remove and discard bay leaf. Add the remaining 1 cup tomato juice, water, and vinegar. Pour into 6-cup ring mold that has been lightly greased with salad oil. Chill until firm. Unmold onto serving plate. Serve with mayonnaise or salad dressing.

Jellied Beet Salad

1 16-oz. can diced beets
3-oz. package lemon gelatin
2 tblsp. vinegar
1 tblsp. dehydrated onion (optional)

Drain beets and add enough water to juice to make 1½ cups liquid. Heat liquid to boiling and add gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Add vinegar and onion. Stir; chill until partly thickened. Fold in diced beets. Spoon into lightly oiled individual molds. Chill overnight. Serve on greens.

Seafoam Coleslaw

1 3-oz. package lime gelatin
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cold water
2 tblsp. vinegar
2/3 cup mayonnaise
dash of pepper
4 tsp. grated onion
3/4 tsp. celery seed
2 cups finely shredded cabbage

Dissolve gelatin and salt in hot water. Add cold water, vinegar, mayonnaise, pepper, onion and celery seed. Blend thoroughly with egg beater. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in shredded cabbage. Pour into individual molds or into a one-quart mold and chill until firm.

Molded Cranberry Salad

1 6-oz. package raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 16-oz. cans whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup dairy sour cream

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Add cranberry sauce and pour into 8-inch square pan or glass baking dish. Swirl in sour cream. Chill until firm.

Cranberry Salad

1 6-oz. package cherry gelatin
3 cups boiling water
1 15-oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1-1/2 cups drained, crushed pineapple
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained and cut in pieces
1 cup diced celery

Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Add remaining ingredients. Pour in 9×13-inch pan or glass baking dish. Chill.

Raspberry Pineapple Salad

1 6-oz. package raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
cold water
1 10-oz. package frozen raspberries
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple

Thaw raspberries, reserving juice. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Combine juices and add enough cold water to make 2 cups. Add to gelatin. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in berries and pineapple. Pour into mold or bowl; chill until firm.

Confetti Relish Mold

2 beef bouillon cubes
1 3-oz. package lemon gelatin
1 cup boiling water
2 tblsp. tarragon vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups finely chopped, colorful vegetables (green pepper, red pepper, shredded carrot, green onions; do not use cucumber or radishes – their texture turns rubbery)

Dissolve bouillon cubes and gelatin in boiling water; add vinegar and salt. Chill until partially set. Add sour cream; beat smooth. Add vegetables. Pour into a 3-cup mold. Chill until firm.



  1. I have a very delicate stomach in the morning. I’ll have to come back to this later in the day…

    Comment by Mina — December 13, 2010 @ 7:21 am

  2. Weakling!

    (It was the beet salad that got to you, I think.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 7:42 am

  3. Bravo, Ardis! The first recorded recipe for jello in Mormon culture! What an important breakthrough in Mormon studies! What a find! Congratulations!!

    I happen to have all those ingredients in the house so I’ll go make the recipe, and report back. (I mean I’ll make the jello. I won’t promise that I’ll get around to making the orange baskets.)

    Comment by Researcher — December 13, 2010 @ 8:30 am

  4. My father grew up in Salt Lake. When trying to explain these kinds of dishes he would say it was a contest to see who could have the greatest number of ingredients. The creator would share the recipe by listing off the ingredients, and if you couldn’t repeat it back, you lost. 🙂

    My wife served something very like the cranberry salad last night, but with pomegranates instead of celery.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — December 13, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  5. Ah, yes, it is a proud day for me. Nothing else I ever accomplish will outshine this professional achievement, I know. Thank you for recognizing that fact, Researcher.

    Mm, pomegranate! I’ll bet that was good.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  6. Okay. So I’ve made the gelatin. It seems rather thick. I’m guessing that it will probably set up with the consistency of Jello “Jigglers.” I wonder if the Knox gelatin in my cupboard is the same consistency as gelatin was back in the 1890s.

    Comment by Researcher — December 13, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  7. Shredded carrots in green jello was a staple in my home growing up, which I was not a big fan of, but ate a lot of it. There was also a pineapple, cottage cheese, and shredded cheese in green jello item that I actually enjoyed. The cranberry walnut salad was also fairly common at home and I was a big fan of that.

    My wife and I differ on the details of when and where, but we both have strong memories of the green chicken jello that swept through one of the wards we lived in early in our marriage (probably the early 1980’s). The sisters at Relief Society had it at a function, and loved it. Over the next few weeks, it was served and rejected in home after home by the husbands and children as just too gross to eat. I have no idea how it tasted, as I never put it in my mouth. I think it was a year or two for all the bad feelings to subside, and homes became harmonious again.

    One of our bishops, as a joke, made a green lime jello with leftover trout heads, strategically placed so each serving at a dinner for the ward’s youth got a fish head in their portion. That was pretty funny, but then no one was expected to actually eat it.

    How bland our culture would be without jello concoctions like these!

    Comment by kevinf — December 13, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  8. I can’t guess whether the gelatin has been concentrated in the past century, Researcher, but perhaps the “orange jelly” was meant to be harder, like jigglers, since cubes of it were to be “piled up.” Jello like I usually make it (hmm, that sounds like I make it far more often than I do, actually) would collapse into a nondescript mass if I tried to pile it up.

    Boy, kevin, if Mina’s stomach weren’t already doing flips, your recalled recipes would do it! Ewwww!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  9. Aspic makes me barf. I mean literally. But raspberry sour cream thing, whoa. Mouthwatering. Oh, and no beets within a mile, please.

    Comment by WVS — December 13, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  10. I still can’t read this. It’s the beets…

    Comment by Mina — December 13, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  11. Wait, I just saw green chicken jello…*trying hard to keep breakfast down*…

    Comment by Mina — December 13, 2010 @ 11:59 am

  12. Jello with bananas was a staple in our home. And that’s as adventursome as I was ever to get. (I hated the carrots in the jello and the cottage cheese and all the rest — more a consistency thing than taste.) What I’m trying to remember is if it was before or after we joined the church in 1967…

    My non-member grandmother did a lemon jello-cinnamon-apple sauce salad that I hated as a kid, but has be been a regular feature at every holiday dinner since I’ve been married (and my kids, who are not nearly as picky as I was, love it). Especially tasty with the Christmas ham.

    Comment by Paul — December 13, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  13. Ooo, I’d like to read the jello-cinnamon-applesauce recipe, Paul. Think you could pry the secret out of whoever makes it for your family?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  14. I have two contributions here, for comparison to the “outside” world. Both are from Iowa. One is from a Mormon source, the other not.

    First, from a book I inherited from my not-Mormon Iowa-born grandma, that likely got from her Mennonite mother who probably got it as a wedding present in 1910, titled “Mrs. Curtis’s Cookbook: A Manual of Instruction in the Art of Everyday Cookery”, by Isabel Gordon Curtis, author of “Leftovers Made Palatable,” “The Everyday Cook Book”, “The Making of a Housewife,” and “The Progress of a Housekeeper, copyright 1909.

    Chicken Molded with Mayonnaise.

    Stew a 4-pound chicken in 2 quarts cold water, add 4 slices carrot, one onion stuck with 8 cloves, 2 stalks celery, bit bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoonful peppercorn, 1 teaspoonful salt. Bring quickly to the boil till tender. Remove meat from bones and chop (there should be 2 1/2 cupfuls.) Reduce stock to 1 cupful, cool, soak 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls granulated gelatin in 2 teaspoonfuls cold water and dissolve in stock which has been reheated; add to meat, season with salt pepper, celery salt, and onion juice. Pack in buttered 1/2-pound baking-powder tins and chill. Remove from molds, cut in rounds, put on lettuce, and garnish with mayonnaise.– FANNIE M. FARMER


    I cannot say I have ever tried to make or to eat that concoction, it sounds icky. But I have tried this next one; it is my other grandma’s recipe, and I think it is both delicious and pretty.

    From “Best of the Bake Sale — And Other Favorite Recipes” compiled by The Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — Keosauqua [Iowa] Branch (early 1960s, maybe 1962 or ’63).

    Three Color Salad

    Set one package of lime jello with 2 cups water in the bottom of a 9 x 12 oblong dish. Make center layer as follows: pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over package of lemon jello in top of double boiler and melt 20 marshmallows in hot jello. Then set aside to cool. Mix one package of Philadelphia Cream cheese with small can of crushed pineapple (not drained). Whip one cup of cream and add two tbs. [tablespoons] of sugar, mix altogether, pour over the green jello and let set until solid. (I find that it’s not necessary to add 20 marshmallows, half, that many will do.)
    Add package of red jello and 2 cups of water that is nearly set. Be sure jello is set before you add the other or it will mix and run together.
    Nellie Gano

    Comment by Coffinberry — December 13, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  15. This post is attracting an inordinate amount of birth control spam. Some people apparently really do not like jello.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  16. I make it, but I have to look up the recipe, lest you get some ooky gloop that doesn’t set up and blame my poor grandmother for my mistake… I’ll post it later tonight.

    Comment by Paul — December 13, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  17. I’ll have to wait until I’m home to add some recipes, but my mother made a jello salad nearly every Sunday while we children were at home. And my wife, and daughter whom I’m visiting today, remembers jello salad from time to time during the 80s.

    I used to make a potato salad with unflavored gelatin and a bunch of other stuff, which made me a big hit among most of my missionary companions–of course, the other food that we ate was so awful, generally, that anything with the first bit of flavor would have seemed good in comparison.

    Comment by Mark B. — December 13, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  18. Coffinberry, I don’t know but do suspect that your first recipe is a lot closer to the original uses of gelatin than our fruity desserts are. I mean, if you’re making gelatin from scratch, the only way it could be made pre-Knox, pre-Jell-o, by boiling calves’ feet and bones and whatever, then a savory setting for meat seems more natural than anything made with bananas and marshmallows.

    Just the same, I’m not sure even Little White Lab Rat is up to the challenge of trying it out!

    All recipes welcome, especially if they’re really off the beaten track, like using cinnamon or potatoes (please, angels in heaven, not cinnamon and potatoes together!). Fun variations like Coffinberry’s second recipe are more apt to be actually used, I admit …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  19. When I was ward Relief Society president a few years ago, we welcomed graduating Young Women into Relief Society with a special lesson on the history of Relief Society and a gift bag, which along with their new Relief Society manual, included a box of Jello and a recipe. It was a big hit and gave everyone a chuckle!

    Although my grandmother was not active in the Church, she was a member and living in the Mormon cultural region had literally hundreds of jello recipes. I saved a handfull when I cleaned out her house, but I thought at the time that we could publish a rather funky cookbook. She was, by the way, and incredible cook and I can’t ever remember her serving jello.

    Now if I only had her recipes for stewed chicken & noodles, angel food cake, and pickled cucumbers and onions I’d be a happy camper. But no! She left me hundreds of jello recipes which she probably never even tried!

    Comment by blueagleranch — December 13, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  20. Okay. So in honor of the historical jello (though I suppose that it would have been served as a dessert rather than with the meal) I made a meat and potatoes dinner. Meat and potatoes, green peas, and jello, to be exact. Very out of the ordinary for us. Very 1950s.

    The jello was a success. The family said said:

    “This is the jiggliest jello I’ve ever had.”

    “It was good.”

    “Can I have this for my birthday dinner?”

    “Better the kind that you get at the hospital…”

    Some of the kids thought it tasted like lemon, one was very adamant that it tasted like orange juice. It was of the consistency of Jello Jigglers rather than the normal out-of-the-box Jello salad.

    I didn’t serve it in carefully carved orange baskets with whipped cream and little bows on the handles. I simply don’t have it in my constitution to be that precious. But I would love to see a photo if someone manages that!

    And here’s the recipe for eight servings:

    8 teaspoons Knox gelatin
    1/2 cup cold water
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    1 cup orange juice
    8 oranges
    1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

    Soak gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water for about five minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice and orange juice. Stir. Pour into 8 inch square pan. (I sprayed it with cooking spray before adding the jello.) Refrigerate.
    While the gelatin is setting up, make the orange baskets. [See above.] When the gelatin is set, cut in cubes and pile them up in orange basket. Add whipped cream.

    Comment by Researcher — December 13, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  21. Ha! Thanks for the report, and the refigured recipe. The kids must have really liked it if they’re already asking for a rerun. Even if they couldn’t decide whether it was lemon or orange, I’ll bet the fruit flavor was better than the boxed stuff.

    [Hm. This is a first. Keepa moderated my comment. — AEP]

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  22. Here’s the recipe for Grandma Beer’s Lemon Jello:

    6 oz. Lemon Jello
    3-1/2 cups boiling water
    1/2 cup cinnamon candy (Red Hots)
    2 cups thick applesauce

    Dissolve candy, then Jello in boiling water (I measure the water, bring it to a boil, add the Red Hots, then, once they’re dissolved add the Jello, then remove from heat).

    Add applesauce and stir until mixed.

    Pour into dish and cool.

    Comment by Paul — December 13, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  23. Seriously in awe.

    Kate Holbrook needs to see this in all of its glory.

    Comment by J. Stapley — December 13, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

  24. That’s a clever way to get the cinnamon in there, Paul — I was wondering how you kept from having all the flecks of spice rise to the top, and now I get it. I may actually try this one.

    J., this almost counts as a development in the Mormon liturgy, don’t you think? 🙂

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 13, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  25. This was my mom’s and grandma’s “recipe” for jello salad, which I ate as a child in the 60’s, and liked it. That was quite an accomplishment because I wouldn’t eat many vegetables.

    Prepare according to package directions:
    1 package lime Jello (small or large depending on the size of the crowd at your table)
    When congealed, but before it sets completely, stir in:

    Shredded carrots
    Diced celery and apple

    If I remember correctly, it was chock-full-o-veggies, so they probably put at least 2 each of carrots and celery plus the apple. I’ve seen tons of variations this basic recipe with dairy (cottage cheese, cream cheese, etc) pineapple or other fruit, and nuts. But their simpler version was better for a passel of picky kids.

    Comment by Mommie Dearest — December 14, 2010 @ 1:15 am

  26. Having grown up in Utah County (aka happy valley) in the 60’s we ate our share of the ‘dessert’-type jellos (most memorable were the green jello cottage cheese and pineapple; and raspberry jello with raspberries and walnuts). It was not until my LDS mission to France that I had the pleasure(?) of seeing cubed meats formed in a mold with clear gelatine. Never tried it, but only because the clear gelatinous substance reminds me too much of the bones and hooves origins of gelatine 🙂

    Comment by Jack Stickney — December 14, 2010 @ 1:53 am

  27. Ok, here goes.

    1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
    2 T sugar
    1 t salt
    1 1/4 c boiling water
    1/4 c lemon juice

    Mix above ingredients. Put a thin layer in ring mold. Arrange

    green olives
    green pepper, cut into strips

    to make as fancy as you can stand it.

    Chill the rest of the stuff.

    Then add the following when “the rest of the stuff” is nearly set:

    3 eggs, hard cooked
    4 c potatoes, boiled and diced
    1/4 c pimiento
    1/c celery, chopped
    1/4 c green pepper
    1 c mayonnaise
    1/4 c green onion, chopped
    1/4 c dried parsley
    1 1/2 t salt

    After mixing that up, fold in 1/2 cup cream, whipped. Then put in the ring mold and chill. (Both you and the salad–what else is there to do while the gelatin is hardening?)

    When it’s done, put the ring mold briefly in a sink with hot water to loosen and then turn it onto a platter. You may put olives or tomato wedges in the middle when serving. (Or anything else, I suppose. Orange jello wigglers?)

    Note 1: when making this in Japan for missionaries, you can skip all that fancy stuff at the beginning, and the ring mold part–any shaped bowl will work, and the missionaries won’t care.

    Note 2: [deleted by editor]

    Comment by Mark B. — December 14, 2010 @ 6:17 am

  28. Eew, Mark B. (Is this post like Calvin and Hobbes? Can we make up rules along the way? How about if you post a recipe, you have to try it out… : )

    Kate Holbrook needs to see this in all of its glory. (23)

    Oh, Ardis, what did I say, all the way back in comment 3? And you thought I was teasing!! : )

    And, one more note: I wasn’t reading too carefully and thought that Paul was providing a recipe for Beer Jello. Google says that it’s been done. Hopefully not too frequently in Mormon culture! (Danish Beer Jello??)

    Comment by Researcher — December 14, 2010 @ 7:11 am

  29. I think Mina’s weak stomach is contagious — it’s too early today to face this thread.

    I’d have to try it to be sure, but just reading your recipe, Mark, makes me think that the jello probably wasn’t taste-able or mouth-feel-able, right? I mean, there is so much else in there that I think the jello just acted as a binder to give it all a pretty shape? or maybe it did add a little citrusy tang in the background. Anyway, I’m a sucker for a new kind of jello recipe, so I’ll probably try it. (Your Note 2 musta really been outta bounds!)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 14, 2010 @ 7:14 am

  30. #14 reminded me, but I had to confirm with my wife first, of the head cheese she sometimes makes for our Swedish Smorgasbord on Christmas Eve — basically icky meat parts in unflavored gelatin (or, she says, you can just boil the bones for hours…). We have (fortunately in my mind) let that go the way of the lutefisk…

    And #28 — I will point out that I’m one of few members who brings Beer to church with me every week…what a great Mormon name. (I’ve had more than one recommend-taker at the temple do a double-take.)

    Comment by Paul — December 14, 2010 @ 7:31 am

  31. I grew up in the New York City area and was not a member of the Church until age 16. Nevertheless, growing up, I remember either my mother or one of her sisters would make Jell-O—usually green, but not always—with carrot slivers inside, for every holiday family gathering. Since joining the Church, I’ve heard about it a lot, but never actually seen it.

    On a related note, I remember learning, in the MTC, that our testimonies shouldn’t include phrases like “with every fiber of my being,” since such phrases might not be familiar to those outside the Church. I can’t say I’ve ever once heard “with every fiber of my being” in a testimony meeting, but my friends and family—none of whom were Church members—used that phrase all the time.

    Kinda funny how NYC metro Gentiles exemplify “Mormon” stereotypes so much better than the “Mormons” themselves.

    Comment by Jeff D. — December 14, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  32. Mayonnaise and whipped cream? In jello? Even my mother didn’t stoop that low.

    Comment by Mina — December 14, 2010 @ 8:22 am

  33. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the jello. I don’t make it, but my own mother and mother-in-law seem to know how to make great things with it, so I defer to them.

    However, I never had jello with carrots till I was at BYU. I thought is was urban legend, till I went with a home teacher to dinner at his Gran’s house. I can’t say I was a big fan, but it does exist!

    Comment by The Atomic Mom — December 14, 2010 @ 8:52 am

  34. Speaking of Beer, we had some good friends in Chicago named Beer. They wrote their name on their diaper pail and got a bunch of strange looks when they carried it down to the laundry room in their apartment building.

    And, about my recipe which as elicited all sorts of appalled (and, if I do say so myself, appalling) reactions: it’s time to have a New York City Keepa snacker. I know some of you folks live nearby (one is right across the Gowanus Canal–you know who you are!). And you will come. And you will eat it. And you’ll like it. Or else!

    Comment by Mark B. — December 14, 2010 @ 8:54 am

  35. On Facebook, there are hundreds of Jell-O oriented social groups, including “I Swish Jell-O Between My Teeth,” “People Against Bacon Jell-O,” “Saving Jell-O for marriage,” and the “Jell-O Pudding Theorists.” There’s also: “Society for the Restoration and Preservation of Historical Gelatin Desserts,” the “Red Jell-O Alliance,” ” Jell-O Addicts Anonymous” and ” Jell-O Rehab.”

    This and more from a Daily Herald article:

    Comment by Christel — December 14, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  36. Mina — I seem to remember that my grandmother used to serve jello squares, always on their own salad plate, carefully nestled into a leaf of iceberg lettuce, topped with a dollop of mayonnaise. It was so very elegant…

    Amusing notes about your family name, Paul. It’s been so many years since Miss McGovern’s AP English class that I don’t remember what kind of humor that is. (Situational irony, perhaps?)

    By the way, Ardis, if you want a comprehensive guide to Mormon jellos, I guess you could check the Relief Society ward cookbooks. I have one right here with multitudes of jello recipes. They all sound like ones that have been mentioned here with the exception of a recipe that includes pineapple, maraschino cherries, nuts, and rice. (!)

    Comment by Researcher — December 14, 2010 @ 9:06 am

  37. “Rice?” she repeated dully, “in Jello?” The gentle pallor of her cheek assumed an unmistakable green tinge…

    I confess — other than the 1898 recipe, I have made and enjoyed every one of the recipes in the original post. The one with the beef bouillon and sour cream is one of my favorite flavors ever, and I make it without the vegetables so as to better enjoy its smooth, pure, unadulterated awesomeness. My next favorite is the aspic, which I usually make with V-8 juice instead of plain tomato juice.

    Your recipe actually looks very good, Mark — it would make a wonderful standard potato salad without the Jello; I’m just trying to imagine what the Jello adds in the way of flavor and texture. I have no doubt I’ll like it; am just having a hard time imagining it in advance.

    Am heading to the grocery store now. Will no doubt pick up more Jell-o than I otherwise would have!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 14, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  38. My mom did the green jello and carrots thing. When I tried it much later in life, my youngest son said he could not eat the “green jello with clippings in it.” I didn’t much like it either, so it became a dinosaur in our home.

    Comment by Jerri — December 14, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  39. I had the same reaction to rice as you, Ardis (though I never would have described it so artfully).

    #36: Perhaps verbal irony when I say I bring Beer to church (because I mean something different from what you hear)? Maybe situational when I show up with my wife and you expected a six-pack (which, by the way, is what a co-worker called my collective kids until #7 was born…).

    Comment by Paul — December 14, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  40. My daughter married into a family that has a traditional jello salad that has an appropriate name “The Weird Green Salad.” She has become the resident expert in making it, even though she doesn’t like it and doesn’t eat it. It has jello, walnuts, HORSERADISH (how weird is that), cottage cheese and pineapple. They love it and have it for all special occasions.

    Comment by Joanna — December 14, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

  41. I forgot a couple of ingredients for the Weird Jello Salad- as well as the walnuts, horseradish, cottage cheese, pineapple,and lime jello; it also has mayonnaise and milk.
    Strange, but they really like it.

    Comment by Joanna — December 14, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  42. Ardis – The Mormon History Association meeting is at St. George next May. I encourage you to present a paper on this important finding. Seriously! I’m appalled that no one had found it earlier.

    [Name edited to avoid confusion, Kevin — see comments below. AEP]

    Comment by [Other] Kevin — December 14, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  43. My mother put the shredded carrots into orange jello with raisins and a “frosting” of cool whip and cream chese. The dreaded green jello had cottage cheese, chopped walnuts, chopped raw onions and a “frosting” of Miracle Whip. I grew up eating a lot of both… I was the eldest of 9 children.

    Comment by Roulfling — December 14, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  44. Very kind of one of your readers to let you know when and where the next MHA conference will be held. : ) Let’s see. It looks like Patrick Mason and Matt Grow are in charge of the program this year. They’re both interested in cultural history, wouldn’t you say? Forget a single paper; don’t you think you could talk them into doing an entire panel on Jello!? : )

    Comment by Researcher — December 14, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  45. I second the suggestion of that other Kevin, this is important work!j I was momentarily confused, though, and couldn’t remember making that suggestion, until I realized that some poser was out there trying to nab my jello street cred by stealing my name.

    ***Just kidding, Kevin-whoever-you-are, but I did do a double take when I saw your name. I’m a bit of a regular here, and you wouldn’t want to be mistaken for me when I make a really stupid or uninformed comment. Not that anyone would do that, of course.

    Comment by kevinf — December 14, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  46. Jello panel with tasting table!

    Comment by kevinf — December 14, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  47. Yes, there would HAVE to be a tasting table! Too, too bad that the deadline for panel proposals is long past, and acceptances are going out … Darn. Missed my opportunity!

    Never fear, Kevin (kevinf) — we know there is one true and eternal Keepa commenter and guest blogger named Kevin. “Other Kevin,” you’re certainly welcome, but we should come up with a modification of your name to avoid confusion. Maybe something based on the interest hinted at in your email address?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 14, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  48. A few years ago, our ward celebrated Relief Society’s birthday with a cooking contest judged by a panel of male members of the ward. There were only two categories: casseroles and Jello salads. Can you be a “real” Mormon without being able to make a wide variety of those two items?

    Comment by Rhonda — December 14, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  49. What I have learned to make with jell-o are clear jell-o moulds with injected colored milk jell-o flowers. (I wish I could share a picture with you.) The whole thing is edible, even though the flowers look real. I learned this new technique for jell-o preparation from a personal acquaintance in Mexico who also happens to be the current RS Activity leader as well as the YM/YW Activity leader. They are beautiful, but take two to three days to prepare. If you really want to learn many different ways and flavors you should look into learning from Mexicans. They know their stuff when it comes to jell-o.

    Comment by Jodi — December 14, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

  50. My mother always made plain jello without the fruit or carrots, etc. But, we ate it as a dessert topped with whipping cream. One year when I was in elementary school the cooks served green jello with canned grapefruit sections. I was in heaven. I made mother start making jello that way, but she still preferred the plain jello and whipping cream.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — December 14, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

  51. I lived next door to an unmarried aunt who entertained a lot. She was very clever when it came to things she served on these occasions. When she died at the age of ninety, the Relief Society president stood up in RS to make assignments for the meal after the funeral. Then she said, “And I don’t want any jello salads with fruit cocktail thrown in. Dorothy had a little more class than that, and I want nice things for her funeral.”

    That has become a family saying now whenever a potluck meal is planned.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — December 14, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  52. I am writing from the Gilmer Third Ward, Gilmer Texas Stake.

    Sister McLendon and I had the missionaries to supper tonight. She served them a Jell-O preparation they had never had before (and they are both from Utah!). Here is the recipe:


    Make a white cake from your favorite mix and bake it in a 9 X 13 glass baking dish. When it comes out of the oven, let it cool in the dish. When it is cool, use a toothpick to poke holes in the top all the way to the bottom (make lots of holes). Make up two boxes of your favorite Jell-O according to package directions and pour it carefully over the top of the cake and let it soak in. Put the cake in the refrigerator overnight so the Jell-O can set up. Spread whipped topping all over the top, then cut it into pieces and serve it.

    Comment by Clifton Palmer McLendon — July 30, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  53. Ardis-
    surfing at lunch I come across this one from just before I stumbled into the ‘nacle which could have saved me a lot of trouble with my posting on green Jell-o and carrots. I could have just commented here with my theory. Except . . . darn if I don’t get a lot of hits from people googling for “green jello” “carrots” and “Mormons!” (right after “Skousen” “Compound Constitutional Republic” and “Vaugh(a)n Family Crest.” Now you’ll get all those, too!)

    Comment by Grant — August 15, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

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