Thursday, November 24, 2005

From Kansas to California to Oregon: Grandma's Salad Recipes

When my grandparents moved from the farm into “the city,” I went to Kansas for the farm sale. If only I knew then what I know now. But alas, I’m so glad that I went. Helping pack for a farm sale is hard. You find things stashed in cupboards that you’d never thought you’d find, and trying to determine a value of something to keep to something to sell, it’s impossible. Thus, when my grandma Leola told me to take anything I wanted, I was at a loss for thoughts, words, or response. What do you take that represents your childhood memories of a farm in rural Kansas when you’ve grown up in Southern California?!? The things I wanted, made my grandmother laugh.

Farm Fish
I wanted the fish. The fish that blew bubbles on the wall while I took a bath. They were always there. Or the tablecloth on the family holiday table that would eventually be on the table of my wedding reception.

Little things like this stayed with me. And the times in the kitchen. Listening, and singing to the radio and tape recordings…and salads. The salads were so classic to every rural Kansas meal. And I'm not talking green leafy salads. These are jello based extravaganzas. Even when Meals On Wheels* was delivering over the Fourth of July during one of my last trips to the farm, red, white and blue Jello was part of that meal.

The holidays make these memories rise to the surface, don’t they? With that in mind, I present, Grandma Leola’s amazing salad recipe card collection. When my grandparents sold the farm, my grandma’s recipes were to be thrown out. I asked for these, her salad recipes. I also have her bread/muffin, appetizer, and meat recipes. But her salad recipes are classics. I love them, because I loved her. I don't make them, but they're such a window into a time and life that is very different from mine. They are from and of a farmer’s wife in Kansas, circa 1959. She carried it on, onto her daughters, and son, and into our lives.

A meal at the farm was not complete without a Jello salad. Once I tried to tell my Grandma that Jello wasn’t popular with my friends in Portland, and she took her hand to her chest and said, “People just don’t make time for jello anymore.” Alas, grandma, you may be correct. But I have your amazing salad recipes. And if anyone wants them, all they have to do is send me an e-mail and I’ll promptly send you the full directions…and here they are:
A side note: the names in parenthesis after the title are the originators, as noted, on the recipe cards. She credited every passed along recipe.
3 Bean Salad (Marsha Scarlett)
Angel Hash Salad—includes miniature marshmallows and cornstarch
Apricot Salad
Apricot Salad (Florence)
Apricot Salad or Dessert—features apricot pie filling
Aunt Marion’s Fruit Salad
Bing Cherry Salad—from the Kitchen-Klatter brand
Blueberry Salad (Marlene)
Blueberry Salad (typed on index card from Mrs Loren Lancaster)
Broccoli Delight Salad (from the farm kitchen of Lynn Fickes, Herman, Minnesota)
Cabbage Relish Slaw
Cheese Salad (The Famous Holiday Cheese Salad)
Cherry Chiffon (Phyllis)
Cherry Salad (from Marlene)
Christmas Salad
Church Salad (Florence)
Cranberries (Gladys Puckett)
Cranberry & Marshmallow Salad (Eva A.)—dad’s favorite
Cranberry Fluff
Cranberry Salad (Brandt)
Cranberry Salad (Eva Alderfer)
Cranberry Souffle Salad (Tupperware recipe courtesy of Lois Schlicker)
Crunchy Cabbage Salad
Delightful Cranberry Mold (Bunny Spring)
Elegant Cherry-Berry Dessert on a Cloud (Gladys Puckett)
Elegant Cherry-Berry Dessert Topping
Frog-Eye Salad
Frosted Grape Salad—includes nutmeats
Frosted Raspberry Salad (typed on an index card)
Fruit Salad (Marlene)—includes a sauce of vanilla pudding, orange juice concentrate and sour cream
Green Bean Salad (Linda)
Jan’s Salad
Layered Berry Salad (Farm Wife News)
Lime Jello—includes condensed milk, horseradish, pineapple and cottage cheese
Luscious Overnight Salad
Mandarin Orange Salad (Virginia Bauman)
Maple Cranberry Sauce
Microwave Fruit Salad
Orange Jello Salad (Laverne Thies)
Orange Jello Salad (Leola)
Orange Salad (Dorothy Wikle)
Peach Bavarian (Phyllis)—I think almond extract makes this Bavarian
Peaches and Cream Salad (from the Kitchen-Klatter brand)
Pineapple Gelatin Salad (Marlene)
Rhubarb Salad (Betty)
Salad (from Daisy)
Salad (Libby Cook)—unnamed salad features tapioca pudding, lemon jello, vanilla pudding, fruit cocktail, pineapple, cool whip
Sandwich Salad (Phyllis)
Summer Salad (Leola)
Tangy Apricot Salad—features apricot nectar
Turkey-Vegetable Salad—includes condensed cream of celery soup, unflavored gelatin, frozen mixed vegetables, mayonnaise and turkey
Veg Salad – Layered (Evelyn N)
Velvet Salad (Suzie Sunnenberg)

* Yesterday while checking out my purchases at New Seasons, I noticed the checker was wearing a button offering the opportunity to donate to Meals on Wheels, so I donated 2 meals, thinking how they helped my grandparents.

P.S. I should clarify that my Thanksgiving meal did not include any of the above salads. It did include: Free range turkey breast roast, arugula salad with pecans and pomegranete, wild rice stuffing with hazelnuts and cranberries, brussel sprouts and organic pumpkin pie. So there.


Anonymous said...

yummmmy. I love brussel sprouts.

I'm still stuffed & we ate 7 hours ago.

p.s. Rigo wants to meet up on Saturday for lunch... email me 4 details...

pps: my word verification to enter this comment is ksisbam. CUTE!

Kathryn said...

Sounds like you had a very good meal. Give me a ring if you girls want to get together later this afternoon or this evening!

Rozanne said...

I love a list of weird Jell-o salads--I do, I do!

Even though I wouldn't eat any of them. I'm so glad you saved your Grandma's recipe box. I have my Grandma's recipes somewhere, too, but they're not nearly as entertaining. Still I'm glad I have them.

In a way it's too bad that the Jell-o salad tradition has died. While I wouldn't eat most of them (esp. not the Turkey-Vegetable Salad--so very congealed it would be), if I had the opportunity, I would still have some of my Aunt Dorothy's Cranberry Jell-0 salad that she made every Christmas. I don't know the official name of it, but it consisted of chopped cranberries, strawberry Jell-o, frozen stawberries, celery, and walnuts in a large ring mold. It the center of the ring there was this mayonaissey/cream cheese/Cool Whip dressing stuff that you poured over your serving of the stuff.

Good stuff!

Oh yeah! Those fish are great and so Grandma-ish! You were right to save them and give them pride of place in your bathroom (at least I assume that's what you did with them).

Anonymous said...

Sweet post. I am intrigued by the Luscious Overnight Salad, what is it?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this -- it's so touching and human. (Well written, too, by the way.)

Yeah, dig those fish too.

-- Mitch

sttropezbutler said...


I think my older sister ended up with my mother's recipes! Not that my mother was a cook, but she did have a few recipes...guess it was the time.


Dinner sounded delish!

Betsy said...

My kids are typically with their father for thanksgiving, so go with him and his partner to her extended after-Thanksgiving potluck the next day.

One year, my daughter returned home all starry eyed, raving about the food. "Mom," she exclaimed. "Have you ever heard of this stuff called Jello? You can make salads with it and *everything!*"

Turns out I'd been depriving her until that point, and her life was now complete. Her favorite? Something with oranges and mini-marshmallows, I believe...

LeLo said...

Betsy-Depriving your children of Jello. It's a sad world we've come to. :) I know about your baking skills: those kids are LUCKY!

STB-Dinner WAS delish!

Mitch-Thanks! And thanks for stopping by, neighbor!

Lynne-I'm so glad you asked. Luscious Overnight Salad consists of cooking egg yolks, sugar, salt, vinegar pineapple syrup and butter until thick, cooling it, then folding in whipped cream, white cherries, pineapple, marshmallows and oranges. Chill overnight, then garnish with orange sections and maraschino cherries.

Rozanne-I'm sure I have your aunt's recipe, either in these cards, or in the many Jello books I collect. I'll find it!! (often the type you mentioned are called Ring-Around-The-____ depending on what's in the center. My favorite of those is Ring Around The Tuna. Makes me want to sing and dance.)

RSG and Superinky-Enjoy the long weekend!

Jay said...

Holy crap, I grew up with fish like those in our house. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who appreciates them.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that your Grandma's Bing Cherry Jello had pecan halves stuffed into the cherries? My mother-in-law's recipe for that dish was a holiday favorite and now I can't find it. Anyone know which one I mean? Pleeeease help me!
Thanks so much!!!

Anonymous said...

Jello Company Salad (a version of The Famous Holiday Cheese Salad)...Dissolve 2 pkgs lemon jello in 3 cups hot water & cool. Add 20-oz can crushed pineapple (save the drained juice), 3 bananas (cubed)& 1 1/2 cups mini- marshmallows. Pour into 13x9x2" pan & chill. Heat pineapple juice. Mix 1 1/2 Tbsp flour, 1/2 cup sugar & 1 beaten egg; add to hot juice & cook until thick. Let cool. Prepare 1/2 pint whipping cream & fold in 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese. Spread mixture over firm jello & refrigerate until served. THIS IS THE VERY BEST HOLIDAY SALAD!!! From Carol M. in Buckeye AZ 1/13/2012

LeLo said...

Carol, Thank you so much for sharing your version of The Famous Holiday Cheese Salad. Bananas! Marshmallows! Wow, now that is Jello Salad!