We love to have our favorite recipes, passed down from the Grandmas and passed across from special friends, but since we have had a change of heart regarding Yah's Word in the last few years, some of the recipes are just not acceptable anymore. In our efforts to avoid pork (among other things that Yah does not call food), we felt led to eliminate some of our old favorites that contained pork by-products like gelatin and marshmallows. Our family agreed to exalt no euphoric recall, longing for what we left behind in Egypt, but to be thankful for what we still have. We did this for several years until one day I had an epiphany. (Hey, it can happen.)
Since the children (and the Mommy) have missed a certain congealed Jell-O salad that Grandma used to make, I was determined to discover a way to make it without having to use Jell-O (99% of gelatin produced in the U.S. is made from pork skin). I got 100% beef gelatin (available at health food stores or online - try NOW brand), and brainstormed how to get it to taste fruity. My first ideas were using fruit juice, but they just didn't have the same flavor we were used to. Then the Kool-Aid idea hit me! I would use Kool-Aid as the liquid! Eureka!
So, without further adieu, I bring you the before and after versions of Grandma's Mandarin Orange Salad...
The Before version required: 1- 6 oz. package orange Jell-O, but the new version has Kool-Aid and bulk (plain) beef gelatin substituted.
Mandarin Orange Congealed Salad
One 0.15 oz. package orange-flavored Kool-Aid (unsweetened)
1 cup sugar
1 quart cool water
2 Tablespoons bulk beef gelatin
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 - 10 oz. cans mandarin oranges
6 oz. Cool Whip or real whipped cream
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
Mix package of Kool-Aid powder with 1 cup sugar and 1 quart of cold water. (Note: This is only half the amount of water called for in making Kool-Aid as a beverage.)
Take 1 cup of the Kool-Aid mixture and dissolve the gelatin into it. Let sit for five minutes.
Boil the other 3 cups of the Kool-Aid mixture, then stir it into the cold gelatin/Kool-Aid mixture until all the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Add the cream cheese to the hot gelatin mixture, stirring until the cream cheese is melted.
Chill until slightly thickened.
Drain the oranges.
Fold Cool Whip or whipped cream, cottage cheese and drained oranges into the gelatin mixture.
Pour into 9X13" pan. Chill until set.
- Folks always ask , "Doesn't this taste like beef since you use beef gelatin?" No. No more than other gelatin tastes like pork. It tastes like nothing when it is plain.
- We skip the Cool Whip because I think it is yucky, and I want to save our real cream for whipped cream on the pumpkin pie! This recipe turns out equally well with or without the Cool Whip.
- Yes, it does have artificial colors, white sugar and pasteurized dairy, but for special occasions we break most of the rules. I certainly would not recommend making a habit of this recipe. But it is yummy, and it reminds us of Grandma!
- If you want to convert other gelatin recipes, the ratio to use is 1/4 oz. of gelatin will congeal 2 cups of liquid. I weighed this out, and found the 1/4 oz. to equal about two teaspoons. So, for normal gelatin recipes, 1 teaspoon of gelatin will congeal one cup of liquid.
- It is also pretty poured into a bundt pan or gelatin mold to make a special presentation.
One more thing: I don't care about eating "kosher". Whether some rabbi declared something to be acceptable or not, matters little to me. I do care very much, however, that I am obeying my Father and staying within the confines of that which Yahweh has called food.
That is why I avoid the pork gelatin. Kosher-Schmosher.
Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving!