I have a deep dark secret that I’m about to confess. I can’t make Jello.

Thirty years or so ago I tried to make Jello a couple of times and it didn’t turn out, and I’ve never tried again. I love Jello, and often buy it already made. That makes me feel like a real loser. I also can’t sew, but that has little to do with Jello.

strawberry-jello-saladSo for our neighbor’s 6th annual Cookie Party, what does she ask me to bring? A JELLO SALAD. I couldn’t tell her my secret, and face the humiliation and ridicule. So I went to my mom, who always makes me a strawberry jello fruit salad at Christmas. Well, she says it’s for me, but she’s never offered it to let me to take it home or anything. But she did take pity on me and shared her recipe, which I never needed before because she lovingly would make it for me if I wanted her to. I looked forward to the whole Great Jello Challenge with a great deal of trepidation and fear.

Despite not following her directions exactly, it turned out perfectly. I MADE JELLO!

1 Large box strawberry Jello (I used sugar free)
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 package frozen strawberries (with juice)
(this cold juice substitutes for the cold water called for on the box of Jello!)
3 bananas, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
Sour Cream

  • mix Jello with hot water
  • add frozen strawberries, with juice (thawed but still very cold)
  • mix well
  • add drained pineapple and bananas, stir well
  • add 3/4 cup or so of the pecans and stir

Pour HALF the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate til it’s congealed. Spread sour cream on top (whatever thickness suits you). Then pour the remaining Jello mixture on top of the sour cream layer and refrigerate until fully set. Spread on a final top layer of sour cream and sprinkle pecans on top of that.

Now, here’s what I did because I didn’t know any better, and it turned out to be even more delicious. If frozen berries are good, why wouldn’t fresh be better, I reasoned.  So I diced up some sweet fresh strawberries (as fresh as strawberries can be in Virginia in December) and sprinkled sugar on them to make some juice. I DID use the cold water that the box of Jello told me to, but I used ice water from the dispenser on the fridge, combined with the juice from the fresh berries to equal the required amount of cold water. So use my Mom’s recipe or try mine, this is a great Christmas dish!

Now, I’m shortly going to follow this posting up with a recipe to make your own candied fruit peeling to make your own totally fresh fruitcake, so I do know how to do SOME stuff.