Easter table with flowering quince.
I didn't know then that my mother was protecting us from preservatives and food dyes (all the while saving our family money). What I did know and learn is that what you don't get or have very often becomes something special whether it's good for you or not. Fast forward a couple decades (or a few). I don't pine over packaged sweets anymore, but on special occasions, we buy and eat things we don't the rest of the year. For Easter, we bought a can of pineapple chunks for the pineapple sauce that went over our ham which was processed ham loaf mix formed into balls. We also bought two boxes of jello to make Raspberry Applesauce Jello Salad. And I used copious amounts of food coloring to dye pickled eggs. Those things don't make an appearance in our shopping cart the rest of year.
On special occasions, we go a little crazy. As if you don't already think I'm crazy. It's okay. I know.
I'm generally not a big fan of jello or jello salads. I do remember a jello salad my Grammie used to make. You know the kind- it was layered with a crunchy pretzel bottom, some red-colored jello in the middle with a whipped cream top. It was yummy. My all-time favorite jello salad is the one I'm about to share with you. The recipe came from my Aunt Betsy, I believe, and it resembles jello salad but belongs in a class by itself. The applesauce makes it different, makes it incredible. The red raspberries kick it up a notch. Please, oh, please, make this jello salad the next time you celebrate a special occasion. I promise you'll be glad that you did.
Ready for the fridge.
Raspberry Applesauce Jello Salad (From my Aunt Betsy)
This is super easy to make. Make it the day before so it has plenty of time to set up.
2 (3 ounce) boxes of red raspberry-flavored jello
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp. lemon juice (fresh or concentrated)
2 cups applesauce (we use our applesauce which doesn't contain sugar, but you can use sweetened)
2 cups red raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cold water
Dissolve two boxes of jello in the boiling water. Add lemon juice, applesauce, red raspberries and cold water. Stir to combine. Pour into a jello mold or large bowl and refrigerate overnight.