It's funny how every family builds up traditions. Sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose, sometimes they are just passed on for so long no one knows how they started. One that we have is Green Jello Salad on Thanksgiving. It encompasses Mormon tradition with the whole jello thing, and it was a recipe my family had when I was growing up. When I was a child, I didn't even like it--it's jello but it's not a dessert and that just seemed wrong. My first Thanksgiving away from home and extended family, I felt a little sad. I wanted the house to smell all "Thanksgivingly" like it did when we used to go to Grandma Hansen's in Idaho or Grandmother Nicoll's in New Mexico. I wanted to serve the foods we always had. The dish I thought of was the Green Jello Salad. So I called my mom and got the recipe. She didn't have measurements for the ingredients--just estimates. So I wrote down what she said and tried it out. I've made some adjustments through the years (I use cheddar cheese instead of cottage cheese for instance) but it still has the taste that I remember.

As per tradition, the children don't like it. Worse, if they see me making it, there are lots of moans and groans and "EWWW"s. But that's ok, I carry on and keep the flame of tradition burning. Eventually, I won some of them over--and if any of my sisters come to visit at Thanksgiving, I have to make two batches so there will be enough for all of us and some left over for breakfast the next day. It kind of grows on you.

A few years back, Andy tried to start a new tradition: Watching an X-Files Marathon on TV. I was able to tear him away from the TV during a commercial so we could sit down to our dinner (it was the days before TIVO). He asked me to hurry and get the Thanksgiving blessing over with so they could get back to the X Files. We were living in a tiny rental house, I was pregnant with our 8th child and had spent TWO DAYS slaving in a tiny kitchen to put together our lovely, traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Let's just say that attempt at tradition fell flat. But, in the spirit of the season, I didn't actually strangle him--only thought about it.

Last Christmas he very thoughtfully bought me the X Files boxed set. Ha ha ha.

In the spirit of Tradition, here is the recipe for Green Jello Salad could make it and then sit with your family, eat green jello and watch the X Files.

1 small (3 oz) box lime jello 1 C. boiling water 1 C. pineapple juice
Mix together and place in fridge to cool

Beat 1 C. whipping cream, add 2 tbsp. mayo (we like the tangy zip of Miracle Whip). Stir into this: 1 C. grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 C chopped walnuts and 1 can (drained) crushed pineapple
Add whipped cream mixture to lime jello ( don't wait for the lime jello to set--just as long as it has cooled off). Refrigerate. You can have it set in a 9x11 pan and then cut it into squares to serve, or you can pour it into a nice serving bowl and let it set.


Scott said…
The Green Jello will not be travelling down this Gale family branch so you know. Worst Thanksgiving food combo ever except for maybe Spam and Tang.

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