A few weeks ago I was on a plane to Portland for a meeting and had the good fortune to sit next to a nice man named David Weiss. David is a fellow food sales guy making his living selling Nestle Water to convenience stores. Ironically, David’s family has a traditional holiday jello salad that contains Oregon Fruit!! What are the odds???
In my own family we didn’t eat a lot of jello. I stopped eating it after the jolly green jello incident. When I was in college and VERY POOR my siblings and I decided to throw a 25th anniversary party for my parents. We bought and prepared all the food. My sister and brother were working so I am sure they either bought or made something good. My contribution was the Jolly Green Jell-O as it has come to be known in the family lore. Of course I didn’t want to run out so I borrowed a VERY large banquet pan from the restaurant I worked in and made enough red/green Jell-O (In layers!) to feed the local soup kitchen. I tried to get guests to take home to go portions in Ziploc bags. I have not heard the end of this so I have never brought Jell-O to a potluck again.
I might have to change that rule this Christmas because the Weiss family recipe is delicious! It is Cherry Coke Jell-O! I have a very cute mold with a Christmas tree and the color is lovely.
While thinking about this post I decided to do a little Jell-O research. I discovered that there is quite a cult following for Jell-O. Did you know, for example that JELL-O is America’s most famous dessert? Another interesting fact is that JELL-O was once considered a very decadent dessert and served by the upper class. They used fancy Victorian molds to create desserts that were both beautiful and tasty. OR that in 2001, after an astounding 14,000 people had signed a petition, JELL-O was made the Official State Snack of Utah? Another fun fact is that the people of Salt Lake City actually eat more lime flavored JELL-O than any other city in the world. And lastly that one million packs are sold each day? In America alone, 300 million packs are sold each year. I can assure this was all news to me.
This chance meeting on a plain reminded me that there are lots of old family recipes and several of them use Oregon Fruit. Who knew?? So I am challenging you all out there to share you family recipes with me, whether or not they contain Jell-O. You can post them to our Facebook page, send them to me by email at email@example.com or even mail them in the old fashioned way to: Erin Johansen Oregon Fruit Products LLC, PO Box 5283 Salem, OR 97304.
I really enjoy being inspired by other’s traditions so please provide me some inspiration. Happy Holidays!!