Despite it’s revered place at every major family dinner, there’s no real name for it except “the Jell-O.”
Just like her mother before her, my mother-in-law made this delicious side dish for each of the holy trinity of family “eating holidays”— Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Grandma Martyna probably found the recipe in the coupon section of the paper or on the back of a box of Jell-O some time in the 70s, and it’s been a beloved part of my wife’s family’s holidays ever since.
Since my mother-in-law passed away, I have made it for every holiday, and it warms my heart to see that pink blob on just about every plate.
It can probably be served as a dessert, but at any Martyna family dinner, it’s always served as a side dish as a part of the main course.
Cool Whip Jell-O
2 packages of Strawberry Jell-O
8oz Cool Whip
2 cups boiling water
1.5 cups cold water
In a large bowl, add boiling water to Jell-O packets, stir until Jell-O is dissolved. Add cold water.
Refrigerate until 80-90% jelled. (Completely jelled is ok, but slightly less firm makes for a more thorough mix in the next step.)
In the largest bowl you have, combine Jell-O and Cool Whip. Use hand mixer on low, then high, until thoroughly blended. Be ready for this step to make a spattering mess.
My mother-in-law had a box she’d place around the mixing bowl.
Pour combined mixture into a heavy Corningware or Pyrex serving dish, and refrigerate to reset the mixture. Keep refrigerated until serving.