Vintage Recipe: Ring-Around-the Tuna

Ring-Around-the-TunaToday’s crazy vintage recipe comes from a little book called Joys of Jell-O. I picked this little beauty up at an estate sale recently. I just love these old cookbooks, and some of them have  great vintage recipes in them. Others, less so.

This book was produced by General Foods Kitchens. When I opened the book, it fell open to this recipe. I have to wonder, is it possible that whoever owned this book before me loved to make this dish? Seems so unlikely.

Ring-Around-the-Tuna

A beautiful jewel-like entree salad for your luncheon or buffet table.

1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Lime or Lemon Gelatin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup boiling water

3/4 cup cold water

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 teaspoons grated onion

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup diced celery

2 tablespoons chopped pimiento

2 tablespoons sliced stuffed olives

1 can (7 oz.) tuna, drained and flaked.

Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin and sat in boiling water. Add cold water, vinegar, and onion. Chill until very thick. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into individual ring molds or a 1-quart ring mold. Chill until firm. Unmold on crisp salad greens. If desired, serve with additional tuna and top salads with mayonnaise.Makes 3 2/3 cups, o about 4 entree servings.

That’s the recipe, unaltered. The picture in the book looks a green and see-through, but I swear that the directions tell you to mix the tuna in the Jell-O. Seems like that would make it filmy. Yech.

In the picture, all I can see in the center of the ring is salad greens. Perhaps they are hiding the tuna?

Regardless, I find it unsettling that whoever compiled this cookbook felt that this was a great recipe worthy of a photograph. Only a few recipes have a photo, and only a few of the photos are color. Ring-Around-the-Tuna scored big with a 1/2 page color photo! Yikes.

Jell-O’s Story

The cookbook includes a little history of Jell-O. While I am poking fun at one particular recipe, I would never poke fun at Jell-O. Jell-O is weird comfort food and therefore deserves more respect than that. Also, when I had my children, all I craved in this world was Lime Jell-O.

According to the General Foods Kitchens, “Jell-O Gelatin fist grandly shimmered its way into American dining rooms in 1897.” That’s 115 years ago! This cookbook is only 50 years old, because it was created to celebrate Jell-O’s 65th birthday.

“The bounty of Jell-O doesn’t end with its lightness, good taste, convenience, and versatility. Jell-O Gelatin is nutritious and low in calories, just 83 calories per half-cup serving. It sits as lightly on your conscience as it does on top of any meal. You can add fresh vegetables or fruit, or even a marshmallow or two, and eat and eat.”

Guilty Pleasure

Jell-O salads are truly one of my favorite things to check out at any buffet or pot-luck function. You never know what’s gonna be in there. Some are delicious, some are repulsive. And some, like this Tuna ring insanity, are just wrong. But they’re never boring.

Here are a couple of quick & easy recipes that sound cool and delicious. Thanks Jell-O!

Orange-Mallow Ring

For year ‘round refreshment, mold fresh or canned oranges in gelatin.

1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Orange or Orange-Pineapple Gelatin

1 cup boiling water

3/4 cup cold ginger ale or water

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup diced fresh orange sections, drained (or 11 oz. can mandarin orange sections, drained)
Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add ginger ale. Chill until very thick. Stir in marshmallows and orange sections. Pour into a 1-quart ring mold or individual ring molds. Chill until firm. Unmold. Makes 3 cups, or 6 servings.

Strawberry-Banana Ring: Prepare Orange-Mallow Ring, substituting Strawberry-Banana gelatin for the Oange gelatin and 2 medium bananas, sliced, for the oranges.

 

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Strawberry Shakes for Adults Only

Memorial weekend is always such a blast. A mini-vacation with friends to kick off the summer. Beautiful! And this weekend I discovered a new treat — Tequila Rose liqueur. It’s strawberry flavored and delicious. A friend was making delicious little shots with it. The bottle she brought was in a box with a couple of pretty little shot glasses – and recipes on the back!

The recipes look delicious. We were at the lake without the ingredients to make the interesting adult beverages in these recipes, but I thought I’d share them.

These frozen beverages call to mind the adult ice pops in Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults. It would take some adjustments to get these to freeze solid, but I bet they are a taste treat just the way they are. Here are the 3 that look the most delicious.

Tequila Rose Adult Milk Shake

2 ounces Tequila Rose strawberry

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream

Chocolate syrup

Red sprinkles

Drizzle chocolate syrup in a hurricane glass, blend Tequila Rose and ice cream, pour into glass, top with whipped cream and red sprinkles.

TR Banana Split

Tequila Rose strawberry

Double chocolate flavored vodka

Banana liqueur

Half and half

Pour equal parts of each into a beautiful glass in layers.

Strawberry Smore

1 1/4 ounce Tequila Rose strawberry

1/2 ounce vanilla flavored vodka

1/4 ounce butterscotch schnapps

Hot chocolate

Whipped cream

2 marshmallows

Chocolate sprinkles

Drizzle chocolate syrup into glass mug, then add Tequila Rose, vodka and schnapps. Top with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and garnish with marshmallows.

For more great adult treats, check out Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults. It contains recipes for homemade ice pops in assorted flavors, more unusual gourmet flavor pops, and a section of adults only alcohol infused ice pops.

Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults is available online for only $2.99 exclusively at Amazon.

Strawberry Season is Here!

I stopped at a roadside stand a few days ago and bought a special treat. The first locally grown strawberries of the season. There are few things more wonderful than fresh-picked strawberries!

One of my favorite ways to fix them is to clean them, chunk them up, stir them about in a bit of sugar and then eat them! If I can get my mitts on some Angel Food cake, pound cake, or shortbread – all the better. But the strawberries alone make a fantastic dessert or snack. Oh, and homemade whipped cream will never go to waste in my house!

Looking at the recipes in my newest book, Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults, my love of strawberries is evident in the number of recipes that contain strawberries! Plenty of them, for sure. Here’s one from the Kid’s section of the book.

Strawberry Banana Pops

1 small package instant banana cream pudding mix

1 3/4 cups milk

2 cups sliced strawberries

1 tablespoon sugar

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds, add sticks, and freeze.

For anyone using the HCG diet or looking for low calorie and low fat treats, try this strawberry delight.

Strawberry Lemonade Pops (HCG)

2-3 strawberries, mashed

Lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon

8 ounces water

Stevia to taste

Mix all together, pour into ice pop molds or small paper cups, add sticks, and freeze.

This drink is 1/2 of a fruit serving on the HCG diet. This recipe can also be made using Lemon Drop flavored liquid Stevia as the sweetener.

However you like to eat them, it’s strawberry time and that’s a great food celebration!

Ann Chambers is the author of several delicious e-books, including Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults available online for only $2.99 exclusively at Amazon and 25 Quick & Easy HCG Recipes, available online for only $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo or Smashwords.