Our Thanksgiving ‘Must Have’ with the Funny Name

Do you have a Thanksgiving recipe that is sacrosanct, one that your family will not let you waver from, or — perish the thought — omit from the menu? In my family it’s a festive jello mold that is the heralded star of the show.

Our Thanksgiving 'Must Have'

Jello mold? you ask with a raised eyebrow. That ghastly relic of which surely no one on the Food Network would dare speak? A hideous affront to gourmands of all persuasions? The slut of 50s cuisine, if you will — indiscriminate, always available, and dolled up with mini marshmallows, canned peaches or Maraschino cherries, whispering, ‘take me, I’m easy’.

But wait. Our Thanksgiving favorite deserves some respect. Made with cherry jello and studded with fresh cranberries, chopped walnuts and celery, it can be made wayyyy in advance and forgotten about until the turkey is being carved. With just the right balance of sweet, tart, and crunchy, it is a perfect accompaniment to the meal. I usually double the recipe to serve 12-14.

I don’t know what age I was when my mother first made this dish. But I can totally imagine my gastronomical rapture upon tasting the first forkful. Henceforth known as Leenzil’s Thanksgiving Salad, it has been on my family’s table ever since.

Thanksgiving, menu, holiday, jello, eating, gastronomy

My mother submitted Leenzil’s Thanksgiving Salad to our synagogue’s cookbook under my name years ago. This is a photo of that page.

Oh, and the Leenzil part? That was my dad’s nickname for me.

Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appetit!

 photo Helenesig2.pngDigiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Helene Cohen Bludman
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13 Thoughts on “Our Thanksgiving ‘Must Have’ with the Funny Name

  1. Helene, I love the photograph of Leenzil’s salad and the cookbook page, too. Lovely story and the heritage of the dish in your family. Such a special part of Thanksgiving!

  2. I think it sounds pretty good! And not only because of the ingredients, but because of this: “it can be made wayyyy in advance and forgotten about until the turkey is being carved.” The perfect Thanksgiving side, in my opinion.

  3. Oh, that looks DELISH! I am not cooking this year, but will copy it!

  4. This looks like nostalgia to me. Aunt Freda, and her molds, may she rest in peace. Jello molds are more like a high maintenance slut because they can be hard to get out of the mold in one piece, the slutty tease!

  5. My family does not have a traditional jello dish, but my in-laws do. It is called Pretzel Delight. I made it for my book club once, because jello had featured in the book, and, after remarking on how weird the pretzel-jello combination was, everyone declared it delicious.

  6. I think we had a monkey discussion about this, Wren, but it’s been years since I made it (came from Betty Crocker, in my case). I should dust it off and give it another shot. If nothing else, I can consume mass quantities all by myself. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Our Weird Thanksgiving Staple | What The Flicka?

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