Jell-o Rides Again

jello cover

Joys of Jell-o Gelatin
General Foods Corporation

We haven’t posted a Jell-o book in ages. As a Midwesterner, I can appreciate the sophistication of Jell-o cuisine. My mom would put marshmallows and fruit cocktail in ours. (Our family lived on the edge.) This book kicks Jell-o to the next level with the multi-colored layers on the front cover. Pretty darn sexy, right?

Having been in the awful library book business for enough time, these Jell-o cookbooks are pretty similar in terms of recipes. Check them out here, here, here, and here. Molds of Jell-o and other congealed matter were pretty popular in the 60s and 70s. I can’t think of a church potluck, party, or any gathering that didn’t have at least one Jell-o mold. That said, I know I have never seen one of the “savory” Jell-o dishes at a potluck. I am quite sure that if I had actually seen one of these dishes, let alone tasted one, I would still be suffering from the trauma.

However, if you feel brave, give one those “salad” or “savory” recipes a try.


company classics - jell-o molded leftovers seafood specials salad by the slice open a can! more jello and veggies vegetables and jello


  1. While they are all unappetizing, my vote for worst “savory” is the jellied ham loaf. Never should the direction, “dissolve [lemon] gelatin in boiling water” be followed by “stir in catsup”.

    1. I have long been of the opinion that bread is the only thing that should come in loaf form.

  2. That salmon dill mousse will haunt my dreams. However, my mom made (and still makes) a jello “salad” with pistachio jello, pineapple, and marshmallows. Pretty tasty!

    1. My mom has a recipe for Salmon Mousse that includes unflavored gelatin and is amazing. Although we do mold it, it’s very creamy — more like a dip than anything that wobbles.

  3. For some reason, these jello cookbooks never include the one truly wonderful recipe…the poke cake.

    A standard layer cake was baked. Holes were punched in the top and liquid jello was poured in. The cake was refrigerated until the jello was almost set. Then the cake was iced. When cut, colorful jello would ooze out. Usually, this was a ‘tropical’ theme with a coconut cake and citrus jello.

    However, the best was the Halloween poke cake. A devil’s food cake was poked with cherry jello. When cut, this cake appeared to bleed. Also, the dark chocolate and cherry flavors worked well together.

    1. Someone in my family made those when I was really little. I remember it as white cake with red jello, don’t remember what flavor. I guess for a kid it would be pretty memorable…

    2. My mom used to do this with a vanilla cake, cherry, and blueberry Jello-O to make a red, white, and blue cake for the 4th of July. It was always a big hit with the kids at parties.

      1. You can also make a “tipsy cake” by pouring sprints over a sponge.

  4. my mom had this book. she let me make the crown jewel dessert and i was very impressed with myself!!

  5. I ate a lot of Jello as a kid in the 60s and 70s. Usually with fruit in. Often in a fancy mold for parties, because Mom did fancy, even with fresh fruit too.

    Despite living in the burbiest of burbs, I never, ever saw one of those “savory” jellos. A housewife would have been cast into outer darkness if she’d brought one of those to a neighborhood potluck.

    The chicken and grape one is extra stupid. Telling you to deseed your grapes. I was alive and cooking in 1981, and seedless grapes were widely available, trust me.

    I did love Jello 1-2-3. It was magic! Especially that airy top layer. And it all came out of one powder. That was some big-time food science work.

    1. Actually, the Crown Jewel Dessert and the Frozen Fruit Salad look pretty appealing. That Salmon Mousse and the French Bean Basket, however…

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