Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old Fashioned Cherry Coke Salad

UNDER REVISION

This 2010 recipe is currently under revision for updating. While it tastes amazing, it's not setting up well, so I'm retesting it for needed revisions. My apologies for the inconvenience.
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51 comments:

  1. Congealed or not, this sounds wonderful and would be so festive as a holiday side. Thanks for posting this. Bookmarking now...

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  2. I have just discovered your blog via Foodblogs.com and I must say I relate to so many of your dishes (and your blue willow pattern)although I am a fairly recent transplant to the deeper South. This is on dish I have never tried..jello salads with fruit for sure, but never with coke.. I will have to give it a try.

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  3. You know, I had completely forgotten about this delicious salad. I used to make it all the time for Thanksgiving but haven't for the past several years. Thank you for the reminder, Mary.

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  4. Oh Mary I love this salad! I hope to be able to serve it on thanksgiving day. My dinner and guest list is steady growing!

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  5. It is 8:00 am here, that cranberry business looks preety good. refreshing. I like cranberries, and make them from scratch like you do..this year going to add the
    zesty stuff...and Pom, for a change.. And the cherry coke? trying that too....

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  6. I probably had 5,000 different jell-o salads growing up. I'm surprised I didn't have an egg version for breakfast. :-) My mom and Aunts made them constantly and the versions were endlesss. One of these days, I'm going to post my husband's favorite Apricot Jello salad version. Quite good. This Cherry Coke recipe is new to me and it sounds really good. Thanks for sending it along.

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  7. We used to have jello fruit salads all the time. I hadn't thought about it, but you're right; they have kind of disappeared. I may try this recipe for Thanksgiving!

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  8. ANYTHING with Coke in it has my vote, how very interesting, I have never heard of this salad, thanks for the education!

    anne

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  9. wow. This is a first for me. Is it wrong to be from the south and to never have eaten a jello salad? I must try this!

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  10. Coke Salad has been served at our holiday dinners as long as I can remember.. Its not a holiday without it.. Just made the list for the grocery store today- always coke salad ingrediants listed first!! YUM!

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  11. I love jello salads and reember if yuo use the sugar free style and fresh veggies it is a very low calorie treat. My perfection salad is merely lime sugar free jello with shredded cabbage, carrots, and unsweetened crushed pineapple. Low cal and high taste and texture. The term comgealed salads is unappetizing and seems to be regional. I never heard jello salads called that until very late in my life. Another lo cal version is sugar free orange jello set with mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple. Try diced apple and grapes set in lemon jello. The possibilities are endless.

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  12. Sounds really intriguing! I'd love to try it one day.

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  13. Ok this looks yummy! But I have a question...I like cherries but DESPISE anything cherry flavored, can I use a different jello flavor? If so what would you recommend?

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  14. Hey Nikki - Sure, you could change out the cherry jello for anything that might be compatible. Maybe strawberry, or strawberry banana. I can't think of all the flavors Jello has out these days. This recipe is just for one of many for congealed salads. I don't see why you couldn't do something like strawberries and strawberry jello? Use well drained frozen strawberries. You also do the bananas with that strawberry banana jello. Those should work well with Coke. Course you could go with drained mandarin oranges and orange jello and change it up to 7-up too! :)

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  15. Fascinating! Love the history and the modern tweaks to this dish. I remember J-ello salads from growing up in Texas. Somehow they sound more appealing when we used the word J-ello ;-)

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  16. I grew up with my mom making this salad for holiday meals. I now make it for my holiday meals. I use black cherry gelatin though (i don't like the taste of the cherry gelatin), dark sweet cherries, and I melt the cream cheese in the liquid from the fruit. I add the coca-cola last and as it sets, it makes wonderful layers that look great served in a clear dish. My favorite!!!

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  17. Oh yeah, the layered version is wonderful Kerry - thanks for the reminder!

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  18. One common one where I'm from is jello pretzel salad. Usually it's strawberry but I like to do a raspberry version. Yum!

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  19. Jello pretzel salads are incredibly common where I grew up. :-) Usually was one at any type of potluck! Strawberry is the usual version but I love to do a raspberry one. Yum! (and hopefully this only posts once. I had some issues logging in!)

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  20. Lawd-uh-Mercy! I thought my family was the only one who did Coke Salad!
    Every Thanksgiving, living out and away from the Deep South, my family and I would have guests over for the Thanksgiving dinner. When it came to dessert time, we would pull out my great grandmother's nesting bowls that were filled with the congealed salad.
    I cannot tell you how many times that I've found myself explaining that, "Yes, it looks like vomit. No, it's in fact, one of the most delicious things you'll ever eat."
    What a delight that it is to have stumbled onto your site. I'm seventeen, and I take pride in the culinary escapades of my family, as well as our Southern, matriarchal culture.
    Keep on cookin' and keep 'em comin'!
    -Katelyn

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  21. OMG, me TOO!!
    This has a standing place on our table. It is not a holiday unless we have this.
    I use whatever flavor I feel like. They had cranberry jello one year. Loved that, but haven't been able to find it again.
    I use sugar free jello and diet coke AND we add cut up cream cheese (1/3 less fat).

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  22. I made this once a few years ago and then lost the recipe! Glad I saw this! Oh and yes it's pinned!

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  23. This is my absolute favorite recipe ever. My great-great-grandmother called it "Co-Cola Salad" and I was so proud when I graduated to finally being trusted to make this dish for family get-togethers. :) My Nana always pinches cream cheese into tiny bits for the topping, so that's the way I learned to do it. It is so good for breakfast, too!!

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    Replies
    1. This poor recipe of mine has been linked to and made fun of so many times since I posted it, but you and I know that it's a delicious classic don't we?!!

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  24. My favorite Jello salad from college (late '60s) was strawberry Jello with mashed bananas, frozen strawberries (thawed) and crushed pineapple. Put half in dish and chill. Cover with a layer of sour cream. Top with rest of Jello mixture and chill until set. Best Jello salad/ dessert ever

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  25. My favorite Jello concoction came from my
    college dorm mate's mother. Strawberry Jello with mashed bananas, frozen strawberries (sweetened, sliced), and crushed pineapple. Put half in 9 x 13 dish and chill. Cover with a layer of sour cream. Add other half of Jello mixture and chill until set.

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  26. My favorite Jello salad from college (late '60s) was strawberry Jello with mashed bananas, frozen strawberries (thawed) and crushed pineapple. Put half in dish and chill. Cover with a layer of sour cream. Top with rest of Jello mixture and chill until set. Best Jello salad/ dessert ever

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  27. Coke Salad is a staple of my Mom's family. It wasn't until recently that I really started to consider her family to be Southern because I always knew them to be from Ohio. But they moved to Ohio from Texas.
    Well, low and behold, in this blog post, I find out that Coke Salad is southern!
    Thanks for the post!

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  28. How far ahead can you make this salad?

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    1. Several days for sure - even up to a week I'd guess. Cover tightly. Wait to make the topping until you're ready to serve though.

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  29. I am from South Georgia and was looking for the congealed salad recipe that had coca cola, black cherry gelatin and bing cherries in it with a sour cream type topping and I found it on your site. This salad was a mainstay at Easter and funerals. Your recipe is exactly like I remember. Both mom and grandma have passed away and finding this recipe really made my day! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  30. Mary--I have a party for Memorial and I have a frig full of fresh, sweet cherries. Can they be used here and how would I do it??

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    1. Oh lucky you! Yes, you can use them - the contents of the canned cherries is just pitted cherries and sugar syrup! Depending on how sweet your's are you may need no additional sugar at all. I'd be tempted to make a cherry pie too!!

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    2. So just pit the cherries and nothing else changes? What do I do for the reserved heavy syrup?

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    3. Since you said your cherries are sweet, just a little water with the pineapple juice so you can dissolve the gelatin. If you want to sweeten them, add a little sugar. Then you'll add enough Coke to bring the mixture to 4 cups.

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  31. My mother used to make this jello salad for special occasions when I was a kid. I'm 78 years old now and I have wondered for YEARS about the recipe for this. I knew I REALLY liked it. The contrast in flavors...the sweetness of the black cherries and the briny wonderful taste of green olives and then the walnuts! Whoa! Sooooo gooood.....and here it is! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now I will only wonder if THIS generation, my kids and grandkids will find this as amazing as I did at age 13 !!!!

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately they don't seem to have the same endearing affection for the congealed salads, but that's okay. Us older folks will try and keep it alive best we can in the meantime!!

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  32. Mary, I just love your site!! I've spent hours just browsing through your wonderful recipes and many conjure up long ago memories. One was this, my mother made a hideous jello mold of lime jello, cucumbers, celery and cream cheese every Christmas. She made it for years before we finally told her we absolutely hated it! Poor mom. This coke salad sounds really good. Thank you for all your interesting stories and wonderful recipes! -- Nina

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  33. Mary, I made this for Easter and most of my family fell in love with it. (got one that doesn't care for cherry.) But I had trouble getting it to set up. When I went to measure this liquid into a 4 cup measure, the Coke caused it to fizz up quite a bit. I presumed I was to measure from the liquid line which was 2" below the visible "fizz" line. Since it never set up, stayed liquid, am thinking this was wrong? Even not setting up, they adored it. My daughter, the chef, thinks your recipe is perfect, except for my mistake.

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    Replies
    1. It's been awhile since I made this - I'll have to run a test!

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  34. It's cherry season! Tried this again. Used 8cup liquid measure, so when the coke fizzed up, it didn't pour out over everything and make a mess like last time. Used food processor on fresh cherries, Hubby Randall wasn't a fan of big whole cherries in his jello. Pressed out the juice to add to the pineapple juice. It set up just lovely and is a giant hit. Our oldest, chef daughter, says, "Mary rocks."

    Was it you Mary, or one of your blog friends you linked to that recommended the Ball jar topper cherry pitter? He bought me one online two weeks ago. Up to having this, I avoided cherry recipes like the plague, I hated pitting them. Where's this been all my life? (but they don't tell you: where old clothes and an apron because cherry juice stains!)

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  35. I'm my region of Ontario, it is incredibly difficult to find pineapple in heavy syrup. In fact I haven't even seen it on the shelves since I was a child. Do you suggest that I add some sugar to the reserved liquid since I can only find the pineapple in juice or would you just switch it out?

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    Replies
    1. You could, but actually you may not need as there's certainly plenty of sugar elsewhere!

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  36. Your salad recipe is not here (out for review, did not set-up properly}. I think my salad is close but not exactly like yours, judging from the comments. My family has made this salad for holidays for 30 years or more and suddenly it does not set-up. We are dealing with cherries, pineapple, cream cheese, coke and pecans in cherry jello. Have you discovered the problem with your salad yet? I am about ready to contact Jello, can they have changed something?

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    1. That's a good question! I made some serious adjustments to the recipe but it still didn't set like it used to. I'm planning a 3rd revision but have been under the weather for over a week now and haven't made it to the store for supplies yet.

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