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Old 11-25-2016, 08:23 AM   #1
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Family oddest dish that is always made

What is the family dish that is always made and everyone loves or the dish everyone hates and never eats but it still gets made.

Growing up my mom made and orange jello salad. It was always there at Thanksgiving . It wasn't the top seller but we all ate it.
It wasn't till we all grew up that we realize that the dish has to be on our tables.

My parents both passed in 2015 - one in January and one right after Christmas. Coming up on a year for mom

This year the jello dish was the most requested dish. Funny how a simple dish can bring such conversation to a table. My sister calls it fiber salad, I always called Thanksgiving jello salad. As she only made it then

It was the last thing I ate on my plate as it was so refreshing after everything else :
Try it, you will be surprised. this is for a small dish- we had to have a 9x13 size so we use the large package.
There is no measurement on the veggies it was just done with her eyes.

Ellies orange salad (small version)
3 oz pk Orange jello prepared as package directions
and put into 8x8 dish ( not good in a bowl needs a shallow container)
finely chopped celery ( I would say 2 stalks)
1 large carrot grated
and one 15 oz crushed pineapple drained
stir it all together and refridge till set.

Yup sound weird but it is refreshing with a crunch.

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Old 11-25-2016, 08:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by letscook View Post
What is the family dish that is always made and everyone loves or the dish everyone hates and never eats but it still gets made.

Growing up my mom made and orange jello salad. It was always there at Thanksgiving . It wasn't the top seller but we all ate it.
It wasn't till we all grew up that we realize that the dish has to be on our tables.

My parents both passed in 2015 - one in January and one right after Christmas. Coming up on a year for mom

This year the jello dish was the most requested dish. Funny how a simple dish can bring such conversation to a table. My sister calls it fiber salad, I always called Thanksgiving jello salad. As she only made it then

It was the last thing I ate on my plate as it was so refreshing after everything else :
Try it, you will be surprised. this is for a small dish- we had to have a 9x13 size so we use the large package.
There is no measurement on the veggies it was just done with her eyes.

Ellies orange salad (small version)
3 oz pk Orange jello prepared as package directions
and put into 8x8 dish ( not good in a bowl needs a shallow container)
finely chopped celery ( I would say 2 stalks)
1 large carrot grated
and one 15 oz crushed pineapple drained
stir it all together and refridge till set.

Yup sound weird but it is refreshing with a crunch.
My mom made that except for the celery and it was a year round dish, especially in the summer. She made it once for my oldest GD who loved it and then I had to make it for her for several years before she decided she didn't like carrots anymore.
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Old 11-25-2016, 09:23 AM   #3
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For holidays my whole life we always had rice pilaf as THE side. Thanksgiving and Christmas with turkey or roasts, it was always pilaf, never potato.

When I was divorced I was lucky enough to have a woman cook Thanksgiving dinner for me. It was a massive spread for the two of us. She served mashed potatoes. My daughter was mortified that I wasn't having pilaf! That's the only time I did not have pilaf as part of a holiday dinner. I see no reason to change.

This year I made mashed potato in addition to pilaf for some guests.
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Old 11-25-2016, 10:23 AM   #4
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Who doesn't like a good pilaf?

The orange salad does sound good.

Ours isn't so much a single dish but rather three common but disparate appetizers.

We have always had shrimp cocktail, devilled eggs, and a tray of pickles and olives. A weird combo, but for some reason it's not a holiday dinner without them.
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Old 11-25-2016, 01:40 PM   #5
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Nothing comes to mind lately, but growing up we always two unusual dishes at the Thanksgiving (and sometimes Christmas) table: mashed rutabagas and creamed pearl onions. The creamed onions were something that was traditional in my dad's family. His mom always made them. She was Czech, and according to dad, the dish was also eastern European in origin.

The rutabagas came from mom's side, via my grandmother. The ONLY times we ever had them were at winter holiday meals. I don't think I ever saw rutabagas in the house otherwise.

I hadn't thought about those dishes in years. Maybe it's time to resurrect the tradition.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:20 PM   #6
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It's curious, isn't it, how our menus develop over the years and what peculiar (to some) dishes that appear on our holiday tables?

Most of my family on my mother's side came from Slovenia, so I suppose some of what was served was influenced by their tastes and customs. My papa (grandfather) always put ketchup in his beef soup. I thought it weird until I tried it. Never mind.

As for what I grew up on the holiday table, there was always a dish of carrot sticks and celery sticks. As a matter of fact, there was a specific serving piece that was devoted to the task of holding those two veggies. It was always referred to as the "carrot and celery" dish. Never, to my knowledge, used for anything else.

Along with the carrots and celery, a special divided crystal/glass bowl held drained whole ripe olives on one side and whole stuffed green olives on the other. Same story behind the delegated use of the bowl. Never used for anything else.

For some reason, perhaps it was the era, no appetizers were served. Everything was placed on the table prior to sitting down to eat.

In spite of not having a dining room and having a kitchen that was so small you had to go outside to change your mind, we did have a dining room table, which had drop-leaf sides and sat against a wall in the living room. That's where we ate, added leaves in the table, living room furniture squished against the remaining walls or out of the room.

Having said this, I don't know how my parents managed to get all the food, along with the necessary 9 place settings for them and my siblings on the table. As I recall, there was no room for elbows on the table...as if that would've been allowed.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:27 PM   #7
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Canned boiled potatoes and canned peas together with a cornstarch slurry. Dear gawd, just awful. Why?
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:35 PM   #8
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Canned boiled potatoes and canned peas together with a cornstarch slurry. Dear gawd, just awful. Why?

Oh, my!

Sounds like a recipe for lumpy wallpaper adhesive. Hope the rest of the dishes were more, um, normal.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #9
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Oh, my!

Sounds like a recipe for lumpy wallpaper adhesive. Hope the rest of the dishes were more, um, normal.
Haha! Yeah, really.

I haven't had it in years but it was a family staple.
I won't lie, I didn't come from a family of gourmet cooks. Dinner (even fancy dinners) were a collection of things dumped from cans. DH and I were laughing yesterday because we saw a cheeseball rolled in chopped almonds (a la Pepperidge farm) and he said, "Wow, we can bring this! It'll be the epitome of elegance at the party!" It was so funny because it was so true.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:47 PM   #10
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We always had a pale green version of the Jello salad with nuts, cottage cheese, etc...

Not really odd to me, we always had mashed yellow turnip and scalloped oysters.

Other than that it was pretty traditional. I remember when I was very young, still living at my grandmother's farm, my father liked to go around the table and point out all of the items that were raised on the farm.
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:35 PM   #11
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I don't know that they are odd but I always make stuffed mushrooms for a holiday meal and on thanksgiving Cranberry tangerine pecan relish.

Mom would make a mashed potato and turnip. And also creamed pearl onions.

My family doesn't like those so much so I don't make them
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Old 11-26-2016, 07:49 AM   #12
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your right about the deviled eggs and pickles, olives. I think my mom put them out so us 8 kids would leave her alone while preparing the rest of the meal .


eww, to the canned potato and peas w/ sauce sound disgusting. haha funny to look at these dishes now.
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:42 AM   #13
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We always had a pale green version of the Jello salad with nuts, cottage cheese, etc...
I know what you mean, Aunt Bea. We always had one that began with lime Jell-O, along with tiny broken bits of cream cheese, melted marshmallows, chopped walnuts and crushed pineapple. Actually, it's really quite good. Especially, since the required water is replaced with the drained juice from the pineapple. My children always referred to it as the "green salad." There was rarely any left even when we had guests.
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:37 PM   #14
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It's all down to family tradition, and on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day these dishes can be very important to bring a family closer together because it's something that has been shared down the years. That's true family solidarity and togetherness, and food has an enormous part to play in all of that. Whether the dish is good or not so good, it's something that really brings families together, and that's something upon which you can't place a value.

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Old 11-26-2016, 04:21 PM   #15
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We had lime Jello with a massive amount of shredded carrots and a few raisins...was hard to find the Jello.

Mom chose Thanksgiving to prepare never before seen recipes. Most notable was something we called Eggplant Mush, it was awful. Dad looked at us girls and said, "You don't have to eat that." We had successes, too that became permanent for Thanksgiving, like Potatoes au Gratin.
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Old 11-26-2016, 06:42 PM   #16
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We had lime Jello with a massive amount of shredded carrots and a few raisins...was hard to find the Jello.

Mom chose Thanksgiving to prepare never before seen recipes. Most notable was something we called Eggplant Mush, it was awful. Dad looked at us girls and said, "You don't have to eat that." We had successes, too that became permanent for Thanksgiving, like Potatoes au Gratin.
I bet that made you thankful!
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Old 11-27-2016, 01:02 AM   #17
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I bet that made you thankful!
Dad was always right when he told us we didn't have to eat something...except for the time with the crushed red peppers...Mom thought they were sweet bell peppers and was a bit heavy handed with them. She put them in fried rice, Dad couldn't eat it, I was the only one who could handle the heat. I mixed up scrambled eggs and stirred in the fried rice, everyone was able to eat it then. My first "horrible food" fix...I think I was 12 at the time.
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:22 PM   #18
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In June, new potatoes freshly dug and garden fresh sweet peas is a dish sublime. Canned peas and potatoes in November--nah.

My mother in law used to make the carrot jello. I think it disappeared after a few years, because no one would eat it. She did make Waldorf salad (apples, celery, walnuts and mayo) that I loved.

Other staples on the TG table were gloppy homemade noodles--which only got worse when she and my FIL gave up salt-- and totally dried out turkey.
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:27 PM   #19
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I have never had any jello salad. That was never part of any of our holiday menus. I'm not sure if I should be happy or not.
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:17 PM   #20
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I have never had any jello salad. That was never part of any of our holiday menus. I'm not sure if I should be happy or not.
I had it a couple of times when my ex and I had dinner at her parents. It was always green and I am not a fan.
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