Old Family Recipes

Probably you have some favorite old recipes that you like to make at the holidays. Here’s one of ours. The family calls it Elaine’s Jell-O Mold. My sister’s sister-in-law, Elaine, probably clipped it from a women’s magazine forty years ago. Elaine passed last year, but I’ve continued the tradition of making this dish of hers for holiday meals. I’ve put my own spin on it, adding and swapping out some ingredients and changing some proportions. When I first started making it, I used unflavored gelatin and fruit juice. Now I just go with the Jell-O version. I don’t make this in a mold. I simply put the ingredients into a 2 ½ quart casserole and serve from there.

Technical hint: To make the Jell-O set more quickly, use ice cubes instead of cold water for the second step. Because the dish is made a day or even two days before needed, it cuts the cooking you have to do on the day of your family gathering.

Elaine’s Jell-O Mold
1 6 oz package Jell-O (or 2 3oz packages)
1 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cups ice cubes
1 14 oz can whole cranberry sauce
16 ounces plain yogurt, preferably Greek
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, including juice
1 large apple, cubed (I leave the peel on)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup pecan or walnut pieces

  1. Stir the boiling water into the Jell-O and stir to dissolve (about 2 minutes). When Jell-O is dissolved, stir in the ice cubes and keep stirring until they are completely melted.
  2. Stir in the cranberry sauce, breaking it up with a fork to distribute evenly.
  3. Stir in the yogurt and stir to combine well. When combined, stir in the pineapple.
  4. Add the apple, celery, and nuts and stir to distribute.
  5. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally as the mixture jells to make sure the heavy ingredients do not sink to the bottom.
    This dish will keep in the refrigerator for three or four days.
    Serves 8

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About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

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