Family Jell-O Thanksgiving recipe is tough, like family gatherings | Wbactive

I figured my family didn’t repeat recipes for Thanksgiving. Then this year’s menu planning began, and I remembered Nani’s Jell-O shape. How could I forget that?

Nani was a gourmet chef legendary in family history. She never made Jell-O molds, but when my mom was about 10, which was the early 1960s, the Molded Cranberry Claret Salad showed up on the Thanksgiving table.

Cooked in a small pan with zigzag sides, it was “a marvel of engineering,” my mother said. “It was so chic.”

It tasted nice too. Nani’s Jell-O mold is dense, its vinous sweetness balanced by the bitterness of crushed cranberries, celery and walnuts with their tannins behind the teeth. It has Thanksgiving’s most neglected texture, crunch, and his most neglected taste, bitterness.

We never managed to track down the source of the recipe. Nani took classes and subscribed to all the magazines. When the term “burgundy” fell out of fashion, she wrote “Bordeaux” in parentheses on the handwritten recipe card. “I’ve never seen anyone use it or make it,” my mother said.

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