John's mother, Mary Jim, was not known for her cooking. Rather, she was famous for always serving Kentucky Fried Chicken dinners every gathering, except for Thanksgiving. When it was her turn to cook, she was THE BEST. Her turkeys were the moistest (is that a real word?), her stuffing was "over the moon", to use Allison's words, and everyone loved the Cranberry Jello Salad. She had to make two of them, beautifully molded and set, because we all took seconds and thirds, and it was better than dessert. I'll bet Kathy's family has a written recipe, but somehow I never wrote it down, probably because I thought Grandma English would always be around to make it. So, this year I googled recipes, and found a pretty good facsimile. If anyone in the English Family has the "real" recipe, please let me know.
Here are the (approximate) ingredients. They change, depending on what's in the cupboard or refrigerator.
Raspberry Jello, large box
can crushed pineapple, small, undrained
can of cranberry sauce, either whole berry or jellied.
1/2 - 1 cup each of chopped cranberries and walnuts, with optional apples and/or celery.
Use only two cups boiling water. The rest of the liquid comes from the pineapple and cranberry sauce.
Dissolve the jello, add the cranberry sauce until mixed, stir in the rest of the ingredients. Set.
If you like topping, once the jello is set up, you can add the following:
Whip together 1 c. sour cream, 1 pkg, cream cheese, 1 c. sugar.
Dissolve small box of lemon jello with 1 c. boiling water.
Whip the cream mix with the jello mix.
Spread on top of the cranberry jello salad.
Or, whip cream, add sugar and vanilla. Or any combination of the above.
Be grateful for family traditions while they last.
Happy Thanksgiving, with gratitude, to my family.