I am not a Jell-O girl. I don’t care for it and have probably eaten more of it while making recipes for this blog than I have my entire life. I’ve certainly made more of it. And there are so many recipes left to go. I am debating investing some serious money in ring molds and individual molds at the thrift shops nearby. You know, all of $10 maybe.
When I was a young girl, I read a book by Lois Lenski called Berries in the Scoop. I was intrigued by the notion of cranberry bogs and how cranberries were harvested. In the story a little girl loses her grandmother’s pin in the cranberry bogs and ***Spoiler alert*** after she falls on the ice and injures herself while ice skating on the bogs she finds it and they all live happily ever after. Or maybe they do. I mean, once you injure your ankle it never goes back to exactly how it used to be.
Anyway, everyone eats cranberries during the holidays and I am no exception. We are a real cranberry family and don’t eat the canned stuff. My sister loves cranberries when they are fresh and raw and mixed with orange and just enough sugar to take a little of the tart out. I prefer mine slightly sweeter and a little more cooked. Occasionally when it’s not the holidays I’ll have a glass of cranberry juice with or without vodka, but I ignore cranberries in their hydrated form for most of the year. I think most of us do. Dried cranberries are a different story all together. This might change that.
First of all, this recipe calls for unflavored gelatin. This means no artificial colors or flavors if you care about that stuff. It means that the only flavors you are going to get out of it are the ones that you put into it. Because it was July when I made this recipe I wasn’t going to get fresh cranberries, but I had some left in the freezer that someone brought me back from one of the Cranberry Festivals and that I was going to take to my sister’s for Thanksgiving and forgot. I think I had also offered them to my mom, but forgot to put them in her cooler also. I guess maybe I was fated to use them for this recipe.
This recipe is beautiful. There is something about that deep red color. John says this recipe reminds him of really good fruit cocktail. It’s somehow light and refreshing despite having that tartness of cranberries. The pineapple adds sweetness, the nuts add crunch and depth. The grapes just lighten everything up. Serve this up with some whipped cream. Or be like Caroline and dip your pork chops in it. It’s a good side for roasted meats.