It's National Use-Up-Your-Leftovers-in-a-Jell-O-Salad Week!

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65 Responses to “It's National Use-Up-Your-Leftovers-in-a-Jell-O-Salad Week!”

  1. jacques45 says:

    But what do you do with the leftover jell-o after the week has passed and nobody’s even tasted the culinary abortion that’s been jiggling every time they open the icebox?

    • sten says:

      What do you do with the leftover jell-o? This is what is known as the “Starter Jell-o”, “Mother of all Jell-o”, “SCORS (Symbiotic Colony of Rotten Shit)”, or “Turd”. It contains essential bacteria, yeasts, animal waste, and petro-chemicals to start a new batch of salad.

      • Ambiguity says:

        Nah, the best thing to do with left-over jello is to cut it into small pieces, treat it as left-overs, and add it to… more jello!

  2. pupdog says:

    Some of these are very familiar – our family (and probably a great deal of that part of the semi-rural South) grew up with cottage cheese, pineapple, shredded cheese, all sorts of things added. Nothing quite so ‘savory’ as some of these choices (Broccoli? Really?) but my grandmother made a pretty awesome chilled desert with jello, coolwhip, pecans, etc…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Worst yuck ever – partially freeze a layer of crushed pineapple on bottom of jello mold, pour part of a batch of green lime jello in carefully, then add a layer of shredded carrots, let partially set, mix a bit of cottage cheese with the remaining jello and carefully spoon it onto the partially set jello/carrots; then let it all fully set. De-mold jello onto a plate, carrots will now be towards the bottom and pineapple on top. Drizzle Miracle whip over top (like a bundt cake drizzle). Was a favorite of my mum’s to make and the rest of the siblings loved it. I did not.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was disgusted by your description of the pineapple carrot lime cottage cheese construction. Then I realized you said it was drizzled with Miracle Whip. There should be some kind of disgusting food contest just so your mom’s dish could win.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This completely made my day. I needed a really good laugh, and everyone’s comments did the trick. Thanks, all!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank god for Julia Child. This could have been the future of American ‘cuisine’, people.

  6. Ambiguity says:

    …and next time my kids start bugging me for a dessert, I’m giving it to them straight:

    “You’re in luck kids: jello, with broccoli and corn! Don’t look so down, when I was a kid, mom always served it with peas and onions. Count your blessings!”

  7. pharmavixen says:

    My mum, born 1938, used to make those “empty the fridge” Jello salads when I was a kid in the 70s. I’d come home from school, open the fridge, and see that dreaded mold sitting there. To this day, I get a Pavlovian quease response to the sight of a Jello mold.

    As “The Human Centipede” is to movies, Jello salad is to food.

  8. Antinous / Moderator says:

    One of the advantages of growing up in a painfully out-of-date family is that, when the neighbors were eating jello salad, we were still eating homemade devil’s food cake with homemade buttercream frosting.

  9. Jake0748 says:

    What will I put in my Jell-O Leftovers Salad?

    Probably some old, rusty screws, bolts and nails. Maybe a little dirt and some pebbles for texture.

    Jello… bleccchh.

  10. PTBartman says:

    I think this is as close as we came to “holy days of obligation” growing up in the lutheran church central NJ circa the 70′s. Seriously our church was mostly transplanted midwesterners and no Ladies Guild Pot luck Dinner was complete without a buffet of Jello based “salads”. On a more personal note my mom loved holidays and we celebrated every one of them and they all ended with the appropriate color Jello and fruit cocktail. Red for Valentines day, Green for St Patty’s Day, orange for halloween etc. Each year on the anniversary of her death I make black Jello (not as easy as it seems) with fruit cocktail.

  11. Crashproof says:

    When I see this, all I can think is: make a sanity roll.

  12. kpkpkp says:

    I’ve amassed a fleet of white plastic cutlery just for this purpose.

  13. g0d5m15t4k3 says:

    Ew. I am glad I wasn’t raised when Jell-o was first invented. This sounds like the disgusting Jell-o version of a x-mas fruit cake. Only with nasty vegetable left overs and lime/lemon jello. Who decided these things would taste good together?!

  14. freshacconci says:

    I’m very much in favour of not wasting food. I don’t think however this is the answer.

  15. Stefan Jones says:

    For that extra festive touch, embed a My Little Pony toy in the mold and top it with Miracle Whip, red pepper flakes, and anchovies!

  16. g0d5m15t4k3 says:

    Usually if I have a bunch of left over veggies, I throw it in with rice and make fried rice out of it. Yum!

    • muteboy says:

      That sounds a lot better than what I tried. I had some leftover salad from dinner, so I put it in the blender with some tomato juice and celery salt. I was hoping it would come out like V8, but in fact it came out revolting.

      • Courtney says:

        Juice it, don’t blend it. It’s much more palatable. Also, add a splash of lemon juice too.

        g0d5m15t4k3, I make fried rice too! We have a little tupperware container in the freezer for leftover bits of meat and veggies. When it’s full, I toss it with rice cooked in sesame oil and soy sauce, and a scrambled egg or two. The trick is to use at least day-old rice.

    • Maggie Koerth-Baker says:

      Yes, but this comes from a time when the majority of American housewives went weak-kneed at the prospect of cooking rice … at least, if the Rice Council ads in my Grammy’s old Better Homes and Gardens can be believed. In every issue, there’s an ad that’s all overly-reassuring about rice. “Really, it’s not that confusing! We swear! You won’t fuck it up!”

  17. danimagoo says:

    When I was in high school, a long time ago, the school had a chile cookoff for a fundraiser. I was in Key Club, and we entered Jello Chile into the contest. We did not win. I ate some. It’s possibly the worst tasting thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.

  18. dancentury says:

    A weeks worth of border-line rotten vegetables and cheese all suspended in lime flavored Jell-O?!! I want to go back in time to the moment the inventor of Jell-O was conceived so I can mix some Plan B One Step into the left overs in his/her mother’s refrigerator.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I, for one an thankful that I’ve never been hungry enough that this would look apetizing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    seriously? what gives? it’s not so bad actually. now of course we germans don’t call it Jell-O, but it has been done for quite a while with similar effects. And as an explanation for something like that “Aspic, when used to hold meats, prevents them from becoming spoiled. The gelatin keeps out air and bacteria, keeping the cooked meat fresh.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspic
    Yeah, the principle seems unappetising, but if it is the best thing to keep from food poisoning you soon will take a liking to it.
    And don’t think just because we’re in the now now we shouldn’t do that anymore. Or are you guys eating steak tartar every day?

  21. pjcamp says:

    I didn’t think it was possible to make Jell-O more disgusting.

    What, no bananas?

  22. Bob K says:

    How about a little nerdy science content for this Jello topic?

    Olives? Bananas? Veggies? ….What’s the ONE food ingredient you literally cannot add to Jello?

    Pineapple–the enzymes in it breaks down the protein structure of the Jello gelatin.

    I expect there to be an entire volume on this topic in Nathan Myhrvold’s food science books, complete with pointlessly complex cut away cross-section photographs and mystifyingly obscure chemical formulations.

    Here’s your toy content: Doctor Dreadful food toys require certified formulations for the gummy bug molding mixes for worldwide sales– middle eastern/muslim culture markets could not accept a gelatin mix with any pork proteins, only beef hooves/bones.

    • chgoliz says:

      Along the same vein, fish gelatin is now used in Dannon and Yoplait yogurts to make them Kosher (and Halal).

  23. knoxblox says:

    I’ve always believed gelatin desserts should be pure and unadulterated, not even fruit. Making it into a salad is the next worst thing to ambrosia.

  24. DoctressJulia says:

    Iron filings.

    Cigarette butts.

    Cat hair.

    burnt toast.

    Eww, I hate Jello and all it reminds me of.

  25. Anonymous says:

    1 package orange gelatin mix
    1 cup sour cream
    1 can 11 oz. mandarin oranges, drained
    1/3 cup (I think) miniature marshmallows (maybe 1/2 cup?)

    In a medium bowl, dissolve gelatin in 1 1/2 cups boiling water.
    Whisk in sour cream until thoroughly blended. Chill until syrupy. Stir in oranges and marshmallows. Chill until set.

    It’s good, I swear.

  26. Alan says:

    Wasn’t this ad made at about the same time there were ads for warmed Dr Pepper as a winter drink?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Yo Dawg.

    I heard you Jell-O , so I put leftover Jell-O in your Jell-O so you can enjoy your Jell-O while you’re enjoying your Jell-O.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Looks similar to aspic, which I personally quite like in summer. It’s very refreshing.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Aspic

    Is the lime or lemon jell-o actually sweetened? Cause I can see how that might make it utterly revolting. Sweetened vegetables? No thanks.

  29. Eye Open Doors says:

    Splendid Jello booya!

  30. Anonymous says:

    My mom used to make a pudding wherein Pistachio flavoured jello pudding mix was combined with cool-whip, crushed pineapple, miniature marshmallows and chopped walnuts. My brother makes it now at every holiday. He says that if you pre-soak the marshmallows in the pineapple juice, it makes the whole thing better. Despite being a vegetarian, I always eat a little bit of it. I would not recommend it to anyone. http://www.recipelink.com/mf/0/78371

  31. sten says:

    1) gelatinize the bones and skin of cows, pigs, etc…
    2) add old leftovers from refrigerator
    3) ????? ?? ??? ????? ? ?? ????.

    Voila… temping Jello salad!

    • GeekMan says:

      3) = “Smoke a bowlful of pot”. That’s the only thing that could possibly link steps 1 & 2 to anything describable as “tempting”.

  32. Ari B. says:

    Olives? Really?

    Ew.

  33. Anonymous says:

    When I was a kid, I had very good jello salads at a friend’s place.

    They did not have olives in them.

  34. GeekMan says:

    I’m fortunate enough that, although I have SEEN Jell-O salads, I have never had to eat one. The olives on the ad are a particularly revolting prospect. Sweet limey Jell-O and briny olives? GAG.

  35. Deidzoeb says:

    Tempting my lunch to escape my gullet and spray everything in front of me… which would at least be a relief in terms of preventing me from seeing that image.

    • Ambiguity says:

      Tempting my lunch to escape my gullet and spray everything in front of me… which would at least be a relief in terms of preventing me from seeing that image.

      You could put that in jello, you know!

      Apparently.

    • Stefan Jones says:

      “Tempting my lunch to escape my gullet and spray everything in front of me”

      This one looks like they worked your ejected lunch into the mix:

      http://lileks.com/institute/gallery/knox/4.html

      I mean, really, look: Bits of corn! In Jell-O!

  36. Stefan Jones says:

    Jell-O “salads” may have had the same culinary roots as aspic, but it went in a horrible and frightening direction that is uniquely American.

    @Anon#45: Yes, it is sweetened. Jell-O is served alone as a dessert. I actually kind of like it. And if it had bits of fruit in it, hey, why not? Whipped cream? Sure!

    But yesterday’s cooked vegetables? Olives?

  37. chgoliz says:

    My grandmother once gave me the cookbook published by her town’s Ladies’ Auxiliary.

    In the section labeled “salads” there was not a single mention of lettuce. The only vegetables, IIRC, were peas. And yes, you guessed it: every single recipe was a form of jello salad.

  38. g0d5m15t4k3 says:

    Rice is more difficult to do on a stove top than if you just have a lazy rice cooker but that never stopped me from making rice before I bought a nice rice cooker. And yes, rice that is anywhere from 1 day to 8 days old is perfect for making into fried rice. It can be done with fresh rice, but it kind of turns into a mushy gruel when you try to add the soy sauce and eggs.

    I feel empowered to know that I can make my own fried rice with leftovers that taste just as good or better than my local take-out shop. Sometimes with the left over veggies, I also add canned chicken. A lazy addition if you want a more hearty friend rice meal but hate stuffing your fridge and freezer with chicken breasts.

    Anyway, Jell-o is strictly required to have booze in it at my house. Not food.

  39. Wingo says:

    I was in the hospital recently, and for several days I was unfortunately put on a ‘clear liquid’ diet, where Jello was one of the only things I could eat.

    I can say with the utmost authority: JELLO SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOOD. PERIOD.

  40. Stefan Jones says:

    Really, that thing is tame compared some of the molds and “salads” in Lilek’s Gallery of Regrettable Food.

    There’s one in there that consists of a dome of lemon jello over a clear cylinder containing slices of cucumber and hunks of salmon. Surrounded by deviled eggs.

    I occasionally see elaborate jello molds on the shelf at Goodwill. It would be interesting to recreate one of these “salads” for ironic purposes. Maybe bring it to a Boing Boing meetup.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I’ve seen this for sale at a deli in Frankfort, Germany. It was just like a log of bologna, probably 6″ in diameter, and it was right in the meat case with it. You could get slices. The gelatin was mostly clear, with a strange assortment of veggies mixed in.

    • Lyle Hopwood says:

      You’re describing a dish called *terrine*. As others have noted, embedding things in aspic preserves them for sale. Probably the main difference between terrine and something made with Jell-O is it’s not lime flavored. And it’s not rotten vegetables. Okay, the two main differences between…

  42. Nezrite says:

    My grandmother used to make a jello salad with shredded cucumber and…I guess it was either sour cream or cream cheese? Surely not mayo…

    I guess it doesn’t matter in any case – it was disgusting.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Easy-to-make vomit! Just add your own bile and tell your friends to “STAND BACK!” Hours of fun for any get-together!

    Ugh. God. I hate to use archaic language, but “wretched” is the first thing that came to mind. You can’t eat jello salad unless it’s pouring rain, you’re wearing a filthy burlap robe and huddled miserably in a leaky, moldy hovel.

  44. Anonymous says:

    That is just so effing WRONG. This is not a good way to get your kids to eat veggies — that’s what the gods made Ranch Dressing for!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Barf-a-licious.

  46. Donald Petersen says:

    It was kinda tragic, really. All these people who survived the Great Depression later had to survive indoctrination that encouraged them to consider such garbage-disposal-scrapings as tasty, nutritious, “tempting,” and “delicious.” Even my own sainted mum (b. 1929) succumbed to these clippings, though she hasn’t presented such a supper-table obscenity since Reagan’s first term at least.

    Jell-O is perfectly yummy all by itself (unless, of course, you OD on it due to doctor’s orders, like Wingo above). As a kid, I discovered that I really liked cherry Jell-O powder straight, like a poor-kid’s Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip.

  47. Anonymous says:

    LOOK! There’s a spork in that photo!

  48. Anonymous says:

    @Nezrite; my grandmother made something that (I think) sounds similar. No idea what it was, but could very well have been shredded cucumber and sour cream with lime jello.

    Does putting random crap in Jello make something that can be kept for a significant period of time? Otherwise, why in jeebus’ name would anyone think to put vegetables in *lime* flavoured suspension? I do not at all understand how anyone could choke that down.

    Then again, I feel the same way any time the food/dessert barrier is crossed: pork chops & apple sauce, ham & pineapple pizza, ice cream and spaghetti sauce, salmon with butterscotch and gummy worms and sprinkles – it’s all the same to me. My cousin used to eat cheddar cheese with grape jelly and I think it scarred me for life. (side note: while tomatoes are the fruit of a tomato plant, they’re f*ing vegetables. It’s an arbitrary class including legumes, tubers, fruits, and a bunch of other things.)

    • chgoliz says:

      (side note: while tomatoes are the fruit of a tomato plant, they’re f*ing vegetables. It’s an arbitrary class including legumes, tubers, fruits, and a bunch of other things.)

      Intelligence is knowing that tomatoes are fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put them in the fruit salad.

      (I do not know the author)

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