Jello gone wrong

complete gelatin cookbook

The Complete Gelatin Cookbook

I was a kid in the 1960s and a Midwesterner. Of course, I love my Jello. It is a staple of my childhood. My mother would take basic cherry flavor and stir in some fruit cocktail from a can. My mom also had an impressive collection of gelatin molds. She could manage a jell-o mold for any occasion.

Now that I have been in the awful library book business for over 10 years, I have a list of standards that are “musts” in every gelatin book:

Criteria met! Now you have some great ideas for your next party!


discover gelatin


Jellied Salmon

Emerald Salad

Pink Fluff

molded garden salad


  1. The lack of illustrations prevents it from making the Gallery, but oh, those recipes. Whoever decided “salad” includes slabs of congealed boiled beef hooves needed to stop drinking the absinthe.

  2. Why is there sugar in the “springtime vegetable salad”? A quarter of a cup is 50 grams of sugar – that makes it sweet enough to be a dessert!

  3. I still do not understand why the cooks of yesteryear felt the need to cover vegetables and FISH (ugh!) with gelatin!?!? But it makes for awful, entertaining reading!!

  4. If it says “aspic”, it is evil and gross. I don’t recall any of those even in the 60s-70s Jello heyday, even though my mom had a lot of molds (none of which I took when cleaning out the house to be sold).

    I would eat the things on 116-17, because they’re desserts, which is the proper place for Jello.

    I see they didn’t go overboard with waxing poetic on the titles, just descriptive. Pink Fluff it is. (ngl, I’d still eat that)

  5. When we moved to the deep country of Ontario, Canada in the 1990s, this was what everyone must have cooked from. My mother volunteered to bring a salad to a community gathering, and hers was the only one not involving gelatin (and the only one that got eaten all up). One particularly marvelous (in the sense of making one marvel, not being tasty to eat) concoction involved gelatin, fake mayonnaise, potatoes, shrimp and marshmallows. Even our dogs wouldn’t eat it, and you know dogs!

    1. Shrimp and marshmallows?!?

      I don’t blame the dogs. That wouldn’t have been accepted in the 70s childhoods of Mary and me.

      What’s “fake mayonnaise”? Miracle Whip? (ugh — the only thing that could make these worse)

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