Thursday, April 21, 2011

Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad
Dorcas Annette Walker

Jello was a rare thing in our home when I was growing up. To me it was a mysterious delightful intriguing substance that began appearing in salads and desserts during my teen years. So you can imagine my delight when one of my first tasks in helping out in the school kitchen was to serve plain jello for a lunch time dessert. To my chagrin the jello seemed to take on a life of its own every time I scooped out a square with a metal spatula wobbling and sometimes flopping back into the dish while trying to deposit it onto a waiting tray. The dinner line quickly backed up everyone enjoying my confusion and antics of the jello as I tried to get the knack of serving that day’s dessert while wanting to sink into the floor in embarrassment. The head cook seeing my dilemma took over. Later in the privacy of the kitchen, not willing to let a simple thing like jello outdo me, I practiced lifting out and serving leftover jello while the rest of the staff looked on and gave advice. Afterwards I discovered that jello salads are a lot easier to serve than plain jello. Perhaps the subconscious memory of my first disastrous encounter with jello permanently imprinted on my brain is the reason that I seldom make plain jello.

Jello facts:
- Peter Cooper received the first patent for gelatin in 1845. Fifty-two years later Pearl Wait came up with a fruity tasting gelatin his wife, Mary, named JELL-O.
- Gelatin is made from cattle bones, hides, and pork skins soaked in acid or lime, washed repeatedly, and then boiled to remove the gelatin, which has no odor, color or taste.
- Gelatin is used primarily in food, pharmaceutical (outer shells for hard and soft capsules), and photography (the production of photographic paper and film).
- During World War II gelatin was used as blood plasma substitute.
- The first four flavors of JELL-O were orange, strawberry, raspberry, and lemon; today there are 20 flavors.
- The first sugar-free JELL-O was invented in 1923 with 12 sugar-free flavors currently available.
- During the early quarter 20th century, immigrants entering Ellis Island were served JELL-O as a “welcome to America” treat.
- JELL-O is called jelly in the United Kingdom.
- In 1996 the JELL-O museum opened in New York, which is considered the birthplace of JELL-O.
- In 2001 Utah declared JELL-O the official snack; the people of Salt Lake City eats more lime flavored JELL-O than any other city in the world.
- Today gelatin is used to construct paint balls.
- More than 158 products are sold under the JELL-O brand with 300 million boxes of JELL-O sold in the United States each year.

Carrot Salad

2 (3 oz) boxes of orange jello
2 c boiling water
1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple
1 c grated carrots

Stir together in a medium-sized bowl the jello and water until dissolved. Add the can of pineapple and carrots. Chill until set. Preparation time is around twenty minutes and this recipe serves seven. You can serve the Carrot Salad plain or on a leaf of lettuce. Garnish with mayonnaise, cool whip, and/or carrot curls!

Weekly tip: Always use canned or cooked pineapple in gelatin salads as fresh pineapple or kiwi will prevent the jello from setting!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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