Morbid Curiosity

Morbid Curiosity: Vegetable Yogurt Salad

I am housesitting for my parents this month and so I have access to my mom’s cookbooks. One of them is a Jell-O cookbook that I fondly remember from when I was growing up. I’m not very old, (Bite your lying tongue! Thirty is not that old!) and I figured that recipes from my childhood would be free from the sort of inexplicable combinations that I’ve grown used to seeing in cookbooks published in the early 1960s. 

I suppose that in my mind, a vast secret society of cookbook publishers, celebrity chefs, and food mega-corporations, sat down together sometime between 1981 and 1985 for some sort of Foodie Illuminati meeting.

“So we’re not going to do gelatin salads any more. Agreed? They are gross and no one likes them. Exceptions will be granted to little old ladies, who for some reason still love to take them to church potlucks, but they will have to clip the recipes out of Bland Homemaker Magazine and tape them to the fridge where they’ll get all faded in sunlight. Then they’ll complain to their grandkids that they can barely read the faded recipe anymore, but it’s so hard to find a good gelatin salad recipe these days. Everyone in agreement, say ‘aye.’ Motion passed. Now, let’s all get our shoulder pads re-stuffed and watch Dynasty.”

But I would be incorrect about that entire little scenario which I had spun out in my mind.  Gelatin salad recipes were still prevalent in 1988 when this cookbook was published. And it’s not like there was a mid-1980s scientific breakthrough at the secret Gelatin Technology Institute and they suddenly figured out how to make gelatin salads palatable. Nope. Late into the 1980s it was still possible to be served a bizarrely-textured lump of yogurt and gelatin that tastes vaguely like onions and be told it was a salad. Don’t believe the doublethink! Your stomach has always been at war with gelatin salad!

Vegetable Yogurt Salad

Vegetable Yogurt Salad
1 pkg. (4 serving size) lemon flavor gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 container (8 oz.) plain yogurt
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 tbsp chopped chives

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add vinegar. Chill until slightly thickened. Blend in yogurt; then fold in carrots, green pepper and chives. Pour into 2½- or 3 cup mold. Chill until firm, about 3 hours. Unmold. Garnish with celery leaves and carrot curls, if desired.

The recipe featured in this post is from Jell-o Fun and Fabulous Recipes, published in 1988 by General Foods Corporation.

By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

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