My mom loves gelatin. It reminds her of her childhood and her own momma, who also loved gelatin. I am somewhat ambivalent to gelatin, but I understand the nostalgic hold that some foods have on us, and I celebrate that nostalgia! Anyway, my mom and I recently sorted through her old recipes and cookbooks, and we ran across a hastily-scrawled recipe for something called Broken Glass Salad. It’s a gelatin “salad” that combines several different colors of jell-o into one dish that is to be served in a glass bowl. When the dessert is cut, it is supposed to be reminscent of colored, broken glass. Mom oohed and ahhed over her memories of this dish, and I’m looking at the recipe thinking that perhaps a few details might be missing. Well, I did some research online and found what I think is the same (or at least a similar) recipe. I bought the ingredients, and I made it to surprise my mom for our Thanksgiving celebration.
I’m pretty competent in the kitchen, but I was a little bit nervous about this recipe. My two primary concerns were this:
1. I don’t typically do well when I try to make “pretty” food.
2. Gelatin is not my specialty. I’m the one whose mandarin orange slices always end up floating on top of the jell-o instead of being evenly spaced throughout.
Thanks to some wise counsel from some Broken Glass Salad experts, my little surprise dessert (Salad? Right.) was a success.
Here is the recipe I followed with the additional advice of adding a smidge less water to the gelatin “glass” in order to make the pieces a little bit firmer AND allowing the cooked pineapple juice mixture to cool for at least ten minutes before stirring into the whipped topping. I also used pineapple gelatin instead of lemon. It was pretty tasty.
I did not get a picture of the final product, but it really did look kind of pretty—in a gelatinous sort of way.