Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Joys of Jell-O Gelatin Dessert" & "7-Up Goes to a Party!" - Fruit Cocktail (Jell-O) Salad and Reception Punch

Date I made these recipes: October 4, 2008

Joys of Jell-O® Gelatin Dessert by General Foods Corporation
Published by General Foods Corporation, 3rd Edition, 2nd Printing (circa 1962)
Copyright circa 1962
Recipe: Fruit Cocktail Salad – p. 42

7-Up goes to a Party! – Recipes for: Barbecues, Guest Dinners, Open Houses, Holiday Events (pamphlet) by The Seven-Up Company
Published by The Seven-Up Company
Copyright 1961
Recipe: Reception Punch – p. 4

This weekend, I was on the final approach to my 50th birthday and so decided to have a few friends over to help me celebrate. I got a wild hair and decided to serve retro food and of course, had to include a Jell-O recipe because what was life without Jell-O?

This recipe is simple and best yet, it’s from my mom’s Jell-O book. If your mother was like mine, she made a Jell-O salad for every occasion and it usually included a kitchen-sink collection of ingredients; fruit, nuts, balls of cream cheese rolled in nuts (my personal favorite) and/or veggies. Ah…the memories. My mom’s Jell-O molds are still at my parent’s house, waiting for me to spirit them away (somehow, I’m not seeing my dad suddenly getting a wild hair to make a Jell-O mold) and so I fell back on a few molds I purchased from a thrift store years ago; one even had the sales sticker still on it!

And then because a couple of my friends are not drinking alcohol (one due to chemo and the other due to frequent migraines), I decided to make a punch that I could spike (lush that I am) but they could drink with ease (In a martini glass, though. Punch cups are for sissies!)

This punch recipe makes a lot of punch so unless you want gallons on hand I suggest cutting down the ingredients and buying individual cans of pineapple juice instead of the mega can. As far as the 7-Up goes, use your best judgment as to how much to add for a smaller recipe. As to the booze, you’re on your own although clear liquor (i.e. gin or vodka) is the way to go with this thing – hic!


Fruit Cocktail Salad – 6 servings or 3 ½ cups (Note: you can substitute another canned fruit if desired).
1 package (3 oz) Jell-O Gelatin (any fruit flavor)
1 cup boiling water
1 can (1 lb. 1 oz) fruit cocktail
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 banana, sliced (I left this out)

Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water. Drain fruit, measuring ¾ cup syrup. Add syrup and lemon juice to gelatin. Chill until very thick. (Note: the book says about 1 ½ hours to achieve very thick Jell-O.) Then fold in fruit and nuts. Pour into a 1-quart mold or bowl or individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold.

Reception Punch – makes 7 quarts or about 60 punch cup servings
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups water
1 46-oz can pi8neapple juice
6 cups orange juice
3 cups lemon juice
12 7-oz bottles 7-Up (Note: 7-oz bottles are no longer being made so instead, go by the ounces needed and adjust depending on how much punch you’re going to make. To make the full recipe, for example, you’ll need 84 ounces.)
Ice cubes

Mix sugar and water in a pan and simmer five minutes; chill. Chill fruit juices and 7-Up. Mix sugar syrup and juices in a chilled punch bowl. At serving time, slowly pour in 7-Up. Add ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves.

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