Joys of Jell-o
I’ll admit it. I have a certain fondness for the old cookbooks, especially the ones with molded food. We have featured quite a few over the years, but I think this one might be a favorite. Nearly every page has a recipe or two that takes creative to a whole new level. You can see the yellow frozen jello loaf below. Looks okay so far. Then we move to the next picture, which has a melon filled with jello. Unfortunately we can’t tell from the black and white picture what flavor of jello was inflicted upon the poor melon, but the recipe suggests lime or red. I shudder to think what flavor is “red,” rather than cherry or strawberry.
But wait, there is more! Now we jump to some savory jello recipes featuring tuna, tomatoes, and cabbage. As a child of the Midwest in the 1960s, of course I love jello. But please, let jello just be jello.
The Low-Cost Cookbook
Straight from a library shelf to your kitchen! You will love recipes like chicken cacciatore with prunes or a molded apple blue cheese salad. I am sure your mouth is watering from all of these wonderful foods. As a child of the 1960s, I can say that no fancy meal would be complete without a jello mold with fruit cocktail.
I know that future generations might need to stroll down a gastronomic memory lane, but does it have to be this cookbook? It’s a bit embarrassing. For those that love the truly awful in cooking, may I direct your attention to Retro Recipe or James Lilek’s Gallery of Regrettable Food. You won’t be disappointed, but you will feel a bit nauseated.
Naturally, the warm summer is a perfect time to break out the cold food. As you can guess, one of the stars of this cookbook is our old friend gelatin. I believe that appetizing fish dish on the cover is salmon in aspic. As a Midwesterner, I can appreciate versions of jello like no one else. I will have marshmallows and fruit cocktail in mine, please. However, this aspic/fish combo seems to be everywhere in cookbooks from this era. I don’t get it and I don’t remember ever seeing it when I was a kid. Perhaps this type of cooking was too sophisticated for my delicate central Illinois upbringing.
Of course cookbooks are a favorite here at ALB and I do think that public libraries should pay attention to food fashions. I can’t imagine this book flying off the shelf anytime soon.