Today’s recipe is in honor of my Aunt Sue. For as long as I can remember, my Aunt frequently requested this ‘salad’ whenever my mom asked what she could bring to various family gatherings. Until recently, I never really understood its intoxicating draw. I mean, it was good, trust me. Tart and sweet raspberries floating in raspberry jello, with the sweetness caught just in time before it went over the edge by the cool creaminess of sour cream lodged in the middle like a little white flag calling for surrender.
I noticed that my mom wrote ‘good’ on the recipe first and then went back later and wrote ‘very’ in red, as if to say “DAMN, that’s some fine jello salad”!
And then I made the recipe for myself…and it all became VERY clear.
It had a secret ingredient. One that dared not whisper its name…..but I knew it, and allllllll the church ladies knew it oh so well: SHERRY. That juggernaut of spirits.
Now I get it, Auntie Sue.
This recipe comes together really quickly due to the frozen raspberries. They do most of the setting up of the jello instead of having to wait for it to completely set up in the fridge.
Once you dissolve the jello with the hot water, mix it with the raspberries, orange juice, sherry, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Take half of that mixture and spread it on the bottom of your 8×8 dish. Place the dish in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so to firm up the first layer.
Scoop the sour cream and drop dollops of it across the jello. This helps with a more even distribution. Spread sour cream out in a smooth layer.
Take the other half of the jello mixture from the bowl and gently spoon it out flat on top of the sour cream.
Cover with plastic wrap and put back in the fridge to completely set up.
I remember my mom cutting it up into squares and dishing it out on leaves of lettuce on little plates. I don’t recall ever eating the lettuce, but it sure looked pretty. Maybe that was the ‘salad’ part of this dish. Maybe it was there to make us feel better about all of the jello and sherry we were consuming. Who’s to know? And, really, who cares? I just love my imbibed jello.
Raspberry Jello Salad
- 1 c. hot water
- 2 pkgs. raspberry Jello
- 2 pkgs. frozen raspberries
- 1/2 c. orange juice
- 1/2 c. sherry
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 small carton of sour cream (1 c.)
- Dissolve the Jello in hot water.
- Add frozen raspberries, orange juice, sherry and lemon juice.
- Put half the mixture into an 8×8 pyrex dish and let set.
- Add the sour cream, smoothing over the Jello mixture evenly.
- Add the rest of the not quite set Jello. (It should be thick, however).
- This salad goes very nicely with any kind of poultry dinner.