Monday, 6 August 2012

Ribbon Salad


Many of you might assume I live this perfect caker life; that my Porcupine Meatballs are always moist, my Dream Whip is always fluffy as air, and I never cut myself opening up a can. But the fact is that every caker stumbles. Yes, even me.

Take this Ribbon Salad. I had images of layered colours and glistening gelatin. I even planned to make a clever Olympics reference by mentioning ribbon gymnastics. But this Ribbon Salad had me in knots.

When I tried to cut it into squares like the recipe said, it was messier than a drunk bridesmaid. I had to scoop it out and plop it into bowls. It looked like abstract art, which would've been fine except for the fact that, when it comes to our food, cakers tend to be paint by number folks.

In any case, Ribbon Salad has reminded me that, sometimes in life, you need to dust the JELL-O powder off and carry on, caker soldier.

First layer:
1 small package lime JELL-O
1 cup boiling water
1 tin crushed pineapple
Pour into a 9x13 pan and let set partially before adding second layer.

Second layer:
1 small package lemon JELL-O
1 cup boiling water
12 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup whipping cream (I use 1 package Dream Whip)
Mix JELL-O and hot water and let partially set. Whip cream. Whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add JELL-O and whip cream and beat well. Pour over first layer.

Third layer: 1 package cherry JELL-O (3 ounce)
2 cups boiling water
1 tin fruit cocktail (drained)

Mix JELL-O and hot water and let partially set. Mix in drained fruit cocktail and spoon over second layer. Refrigerate until firm. Best when made ahead and left overnight. Cut into squares and serve. (This makes a colourful salad for Christmas, weddings or summer dessert.)

Source: Cook Book of the Mount Royal United Church, Saskatoon













At least the dog seemed interested.



10 comments:

  1. Take comfort in the fact that it's not your fault.

    One always has to be careful when cooking from one of those community-style cookbooks. While the contributors tend to be talented--not to mention creative--cooks, they are also somewhat absent-minded or careless. Hence, crucial instructions or measurements are often omitted.

    Time to get right back on that Caker horse and cook up something with crescent rolls and cheese puffs.

    Also, doggie!

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    1. Veg-o-matic, I'm a little haunted by this one. When I was getting rid of the remnants today, I remembered that I'd purchased pineapple chunks by mistake instead of crushed pineapple. I mashed them up to what I thought would be crushed consistency, but now I'm wondering: would crushed pineapple have provided a more solid foundation for the other layers to rest on, thereby averting the gelatinous catastrophe I faced? Have I done the women of Mount Royal United Church a grave disservice? I won't sleep tonight. I just know it.

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  2. Too much water for small packets of Jello. I too have learned the hard way.

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    Replies
    1. Fifilaru, you raise a valid point. The recipe called for a small package for layers 1 and 2 and then a 3 ounce package (which I'm assuming would be a large) for the third layer. I just grabbed three packages of JELL-O. I don't know if they even make different sizes. Not sure if that would've helped or not. Or if less water would've made the base firmer.

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  3. I wonder if it would have worked better if you had added a packet of Knox gelatin to the JELL-O. My mother did this to make "Knox Blox" (basically, JELL-O made according to the package directions + 1 pouch of Knox gelatin. Cut into blocks after setting). It makes the JELL-O extra solid, easier for cutting. Also, I think that pineapple is the one fruit you should never add to JELL-O. Something in the pineapple prevents the JELL-O from setting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only raw pineapple dissolves gelatin. It has a protein dissolving enzyme. Good idea about adding extra gelatin. I want to make this for a work part, but I want mine to bounce and not fall apart.

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    2. For the record, I'm pretty confident this is the first time the term "protein dissolving enzyme" has ever been used on Caker Cooking.

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  4. Protein Dissolving Enzyme would make and excellent name for a band :)

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    Replies
    1. If they ever put out an 8-track, Wendy, I'd buy it.

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