Real Southern Cooking – Some Recipes

retro

Down South, we have a tremendous love for congealed salads.   Now for one thing, y’all need to know that in most cases, salad and dessert can be one and the same.  If you go to a typical southern church dinner or family potluck, you will find a great variety of congealed salads.  Some will be set in the salad area and some will be set in the dessert area – and usually you’ll have two or three of the same thing – one in the salad area, one in the dessert area.

In the 1960’s, congealed salads were wildly popular.  Actually, farther back than that.  I have a recipe from N’awlins, circa 1835 for beouf en gelee.  Also for jellied duck – Charleston, 1875.  We southerners apparently have always had a love for these things.  They run the gamut from Cherry Coke Congealed Salad to Congealed Coleslaw to Lemon/Strawberry/Lime Fluff to Golden Glow to Perfection.  Actually, Perfection Salad is a yankee invention but we ignore that.  We put our fingers in our ears and lalalalala when someone suggests such a thing.

My grandmother Ninny – a true soft voiced southern lady with a spine of pure titanium – made several congealed salads a week, especially in the summer when it was so hot and humid, it was like walking outside into a bowl of oatmeal.  Congealed salad was cool, comforting, and easy to take.  My cousin Billy from New Jersey was visiting one summer and he asks Ninny, “Aunt Josie Lee, how come you don’t just call them Jello salads?”  Ninny replied, “Because William, they are congealed salads.”  End of story. In other words, as we say, “Who’s fryin’ this chicken, you or me?”

Perfection Salad was invented in 1904 by Mrs. John Cook of Newcastle, Pennsylvania (lalalalala) who entered a Knox gelatin recipe contest.  She won third prize – $100 and a sewing machine.  Mrs. Cook said she sliced this salad (sliced salad????) and passed it with a dish of mayonnaise for folks to dab on it.  She liked to serve it with fried oysters.  Perfection Salad is perfect with any kind of seafood, roast meat, fried or barbecued chicken, or fried chicken.  It will liven a dull meal.  Lime Fluff Salad is like Christmas in July – the green and red thing going on with it.  Buttermilk Salad is just good to eat out of the bowl – especially if you can’t sleep and are watching some late night movie from the 30’s or 40’s.  My movie of choice for this one is Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, but y’all make your own choice.  A good friend of mine likes his while watching Seven Samurai.

So I hope y’all enjoy these.  Bless your hearts, eat and be blessed.

  

Buttermilk Salad

1 can crushed pineapple (20 ounces)

2 Cups buttermilk  (regular or fat free)

8 ounces whipped topping, thawed

2 small boxes gelatin (your flavor choice, can also use sugar free)

I am using strawberry jello for this.  Orange is also very good.  Heat pineapple in juice, bring to a boil. Add jello and mix well. Remove from heat and add buttermilk, stir. Allow to cool for twenty to thirty minutes. Stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate until set.

Lime Fluff  Salad

2 (3 oz.) boxes Lime Jello

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1/2 Cup pecan pieces (more is wonderful)

1 ½ c. cold water

¼ – ½ c. sliced maraschino cherries

Dissolve Jello in 1 Cup hot water. Break up the cream cheese in hot Jello and blend using blender (or hand mixer) until smooth. (I usually cube it first!) Add and blend until smooth, then add the undrained pineapple, the pecan pieces and the cherries. Pour into an 8″ X 8″ dish. Chill and serve!

 Perfection Salad

2 envelopes (2 tbs.) unflavored gelatin.

½ c. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ c. boiling water

1 ½ c. cold water

½ c. vinegar (cider or white)

2 tbs. lemon juice

2 c. finely shredded cabbage (shreds better when refrigerator cold)

1 c. chopped celery

¼ c. chopped red/green bell pepper

¼ c. diced pimiento (small jar, drained)

1/3 c. stuffed green olive slices

Thoroughly mix gelatin, sugar, salt. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve gelatin. Then add 1 1/2 cups cold water, vinegar, and lemon juice. Chill till partially set (like egg white consistency).

Now cabbage, chopped celery, green pepper, pimiento, and green-olive slices.

Pour into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan (spray with cooking spray. May also use any comparable sized mold). Chill the salad mold until firm. Just before mealtime, unmold and garnish your salad. Cut salad in 8 to 10 slices.

“You think I don’t have culture just because I’m from down South. Believe me, we’ve got culture there. We’ve always had sushi. We just called it bait.”  Ben “Cooter” Jones

Perfection Salad

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty Generic
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 15:26:12

    I am more of a pudding girl, but I love the mood you set. Makes me want to break into the jello molds.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 25, 2013 @ 15:49:21

      Hey, you add enuff stuff to the jello, and it is like puddin’! Check out my “Nanner Puddin'” recipe, one of my earliest posts. I think it will make you smile. 🙂

      Reply

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