sea veg gelatin cover

Vegetarian Jell-o

The Sea Vegetable Gelatin Cookbook and Field Guide
Madlener
1981

Oh no! Another gelatin book has found it’s way to ALB. Brace yourselves! Instead of Bill Cosby and Jell-o treats, we have sea vegetable gelatin or agar.

I was okay at the strawberry souffle, and maybe the pineapple-coconut punch, but wait! Right next door is beet and red cabbage drink. Beets are not bad, cabbage is not (that) bad. Together in a drink? NO!

The worst picture is the Beef and Carrot souffle, with hard boiled eggs. Somehow seeing this dish is worse than reading the recipe. Given that agar is used as a vegetarian option for gelatin, it seems a bit odd to be specifically using agar for a beef dish.

complete gelatin cookbook

Jello gone wrong

The Complete Gelatin Cookbook
Soares
1978

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!

Serve it Cold cover

Salmon Jell-o Anyone?

Serve it Cold!
A cookbook of delicious cold dishes
Crosby &  Bateman
1969

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.