I haven’t seen a Jello Mold since around 1975. Thank God. There’s a reason they called it a mold. It tastes about as good as mold; well, at least the Jello Molds I remember from my childhood. Sure, they looked fancy and all, but if my Mom added stuff in the Jello, I didn’t want anything to do with it. I could deal with mandarin oranges or marshmallows in them, but not any of the other tasty nuggets that could be found swimming in one of Mary Ann’s Jello Molds – things like carrots, raisins or walnuts – sometimes all of them together.
Back in the ‘70s, I think we only had a few varieties of Jello: red, green, orange and yellow. I guess they had flavors, like cherry or lime, but our Jello choices were quite limited then. In all honesty, I kinda liked Cherry Jello with colored marshmallows prepared in one of those fancy plastic jello molds. And Mary Ann also made really cool Jello 1-2-3 dishes. (See the photo in the blog banner above.) She would make the Jello 1-2-3 in separate fancy wine glasses and tip them in the fridge, so when they set they’d have an intriguing diagonal design. Impressive and inexpensive – right up Mom’s alley.
But when it comes to most of the Jello Molds I remember as a kid, they were certainly a dessert I’d pass up. I guess I didn’t have it as bad as kids in the late ‘50s though. See, I found this 1956 issue of Sunset magazine at an estate sale:
I was flipping through it because I just knew I’d find something ridiculous to make fun of. And here it is:
If you’re wondering what that is, well, it’s a Jello Mold. A quite fancy version. A quite disgusting version actually, with probably the most repulsive ingredients to ever be included in a Jello Mold. Just look at the recipe:
Yes, you read that correctly: shrimp, pimento, cucumber, vinegar, onions and horseradish … in JELLO. And if that isn’t bad enough, look what else the recipe suggests:
Excuse me? Top it with mayonnaise? Those people have lost their minds. And sure, just serve it with potato chips and asparagus for a fancy meal. I’m fine with the asparagus, but what are the potato chips for? To dip in to the creepy Jello Mold like it’s a savory onion dip? No thanks. Suddenly, soggy carrots, raisins and walnuts don’t sound too bad.