Growing up, we spent most of our Christmases with my paternal Grandma, usually at her house in Clemson, South Carolina, but occasionally she’d come to visit us. Christmas at Grandma’s house included extended family, gifts in colorful paper under the tree, heirloom ornaments, stockings handmade by Grandma, and yummy food. So many images and sensations come to mind as I think of those Christmases, each wrapped in love.
I could talk about any number of these traditions and how many of them have continued in the years since her passing. Each has a special place, but for this post, I will share a recipe.
At every Christmas (and Thanksgiving) dinner table, there was a mold of cranberry jello salad. I can picture grandma pulling out the bowl-like plastic mold, with a lid on both sides. I remember how festive it looked on the table. And I remember being surprised, every time, at how smoothly all the ingredients blended together to create a layered flavor.
We continue to serve this at our holiday dinners. Every time, it takes me back to my grandma’s dinning room table and Christmases at her house.
Here’s grandma’s recipe, with some additional instructions for clarification, along with a photo of the recipe in one of her recipe books.
1 small box of strawberry Jello 1 1/2 c boiling water 1 1/2 c sugar 1 1/2 c ground raw cranberries 1 ground orange, peeling and all 1 can crushed pineapple, drained 1/2 c chopped nuts 1 tsp gelatin
Put sugar over cranberries. Dissolve Jello with hot water. Add gelatin to stiffen. Put into greased mold. Let cool and almost congeal. Add other ingredients. (Chill until firm.)