Project 52: Rationing - Week 49 - Lemon Sunshine Salad

Lemon Sunshine Salad
The past couple of days have been a bit dreary, so I thought it would finally be a good time to try the Lemon Sunshine Salad that I've had on my list of recipes to try this year. I wanted to try one more gelatin recipe before the end of this project for several reasons. A big reason is because gelatin or "Jello" recipes are so iconic to the time period and to our American food culture. Another reason that I've mentioned before is because gelatin recipes were so quick and easy and made a great dessert or side that you could make ahead of time - perfect for wartime families. The last reason is that when I saw this recipe awhile ago, I thought it looked slightly scary - which is why I knew I should probably try it! haha!

This recipe actually reminded me of one of my mom's favorite Jello recipes she would make a lot when I was a kid - lemon Jello with shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, and sometimes chopped walnuts. I always skimmed the plain Jello off the top to eat and left the rest. :-)

While this recipe for Lemon Sunshine Salad makes it sound like a lovely dessert, it is not. It is actually a lunch or dinner side. The addition of 1 tsp. salt, cabbage, carrot, and onion made this instantly apparent! Okay. Take a deep breath and here we go!

Ingredients: 1 regular box lemon gelatin, 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup cold water, 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. finely minced onions, 1 cup finely shredded cabbage, and 1 cup finely grated carrots.

I did all my shredding/grating for the cabbage and carrots on my antique aluminum set of graters. I grew up using a set of these and I love them. I was so happy to find the whole set at an antique store! They do tend to get a bit rusty, but it's nothing a little steel wool won't fix!

First, pour the boiling water over the lemon gelatin and stir until it's dissolved.

Add in the salt, lemon juice, and cold water. Stir to combine. Put in the fridge for about 30 min. - 1 hour to thicken. I guess it depends on how cold your fridge is. Check on it now and then to make sure it doesn't get too solid. You want it to be a thick liquid.

When it's thickened, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. The recipe says to not shred anything until you're ready to add it in. From what I've read of the time period, I imagine this would be because they felt that as soon as you shred the vegetables, the exposure to air would begin to deteriorate the vitamins. Since I shred them beforehand, I followed the recipe's advice and put the veg in the fridge until I was ready to add them.

It's ready to go back into the fridge until it has set up nicely. That will take about another hour or so; longer if you want it to be more solid.

Well, it is a lovely, cheery color isn't it? I think it's been named appropriately.

Finally, the taste test! 

This gelatin was... interesting! I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. With the 1 teaspoon of salt, the salad definitely had that sweet/salty thing going on. The texture is nice and I liked the combination of the cabbage and carrots, though I wasn't a fan of the onion. Overall, this is a funky, bright, crunchy salad. I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it, but I'm glad I tried it, even if it was a bit scary!

If you're brave enough, give it a go:
If not, just make some Jello and enjoy how awesome plain Jello can be. haha!

December 1942 Westinghouse Health-for-Victory magazine


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