Welcome to Thanksgiving 2020, the one where we had to stay home and make our own fun.

Or, have someone make our fun for us. My crazy friend Carolyn made me something for the holidays, and it is my pleasure to share it with all of you. 

This slumped pile is Cranberry Mayonnaise Jello Salad Candles!!

AuthorRetroRuth
Rating

From Hellmann's Advertisement

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 1 pound canned whole cranberry sauce
 3 oz fruit-flavored gelatin, red, yellow or orange
 1 cup boiling water
 ¼ tsp salt
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 ½ cup mayonnaise
 1 apple or orange, peeled and diced
 ¼ cup chopped walnuts

1

Heat cranberry sauce, strain, and set berries aside. Dissolve gelatin in hot juice and water. Add salt and lemon juice

2

Chill until thickened enough to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon.

3

Beat in mayonnaise with a rotary beater till light and fluffy. Fold in cranberries, fruit, and nuts.

4

Divide mixture evenly into eight 6 oz fruit juice cans. Chill 4 hours or longer. Unmold, garnish with mayonnaise to taste.

5

Cut birthday candles in half to shorten them. Insert candles into the tops of cranberry candles and light.

Ingredients

 1 pound canned whole cranberry sauce
 3 oz fruit-flavored gelatin, red, yellow or orange
 1 cup boiling water
 ¼ tsp salt
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 ½ cup mayonnaise
 1 apple or orange, peeled and diced
 ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1

Heat cranberry sauce, strain, and set berries aside. Dissolve gelatin in hot juice and water. Add salt and lemon juice

2

Chill until thickened enough to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon.

3

Beat in mayonnaise with a rotary beater till light and fluffy. Fold in cranberries, fruit, and nuts.

4

Divide mixture evenly into eight 6 oz fruit juice cans. Chill 4 hours or longer. Unmold, garnish with mayonnaise to taste.

5

Cut birthday candles in half to shorten them. Insert candles into the tops of cranberry candles and light.

Cranberry Candle Salad

One million years ago, before the pandemic, when we could hang out in person safely and we made French Poodle Hero Sandwiches, I threatened offered to share more Hellmann’s recipes with Carolyn sometime in the future. Fast-forward to 2020, and one of her coworkers sent along a version of this.  Carolyn, being Carolyn, replied to her co-worker with an enthusiastic, “Thank you for giving me purpose!” Buckle up, guys. Things are going to get candle-y. 

Yes, that wine bottle is wearing a sweater. It was for moral and emotional support. Carolyn decided to go with orange gelatin and apple as the fruit, hoping that the flavors would go together well. Carolyn had also never before emptied cranberry sauce from a can into a pot. Turns out she really enjoyed the experience.

Look at those two perfect cans! Now, had she checked her messages, she would have seen that I had replied to her question about how many regular-sized cans make up a 1-lb. can. And she would have learned that it’s 1 12-oz. can plus 4 oz from a second can. Not two whole cans. It’s possible that she swore a lot made a lot of comments about the metric system.

At this point, Carolyn was pretty sure she had screwed things up completely. But the “hot juice” was shiny enough that she decided to take a selfie in it before letting it cool and adding in the mayonnaise.

She used actual Hellmann’s this time lest she repeat the Frosty the “Tasteless” Slaw Man disaster. And then she added in a little bit extra for luck. 

The recipe made it sound like a mousse, but it looked more like soup. Since Carolyn had already screwed everything else up she just went with it. And she said, loudly, “You just FOLD IT IN”, a few times, confusing her already-confused husband. Drinking the sweater wine had nothing to do with this. Nothing at all. 

Into the cans the mixture went, to be cooled in the fridge overnight and then shared with me.  But Carolyn was plagued with questions. Will the candles turn out? Will they taste OK? Will there be a good distribution of fruit and nuts? Does a sweater really make wine taste better? 

The next day I accepted my contactless delivery of the candle cans, and immediately jammed them into the fridge for another night. Because I wasn’t quite emotionally ready to see them. And because the next day was officially Thanksgiving.

They unmolded!!! It was glorious and wonderful and amazing.

Then, very much like Mr. Frosty, they began to melt away.

“Quick!” I scrambled around the kitchen. “Alex, I need birthday candles and Dad!”

“I don’t…what are you even doing?”

“Just get Dad, ok?”

There. Perfection.

Also, I couldn’t bear to put more mayo on these. There was still a chance that they could be good. So I raided what was left of my garden for some parsley and called it good.

“Mom!” Alex ran up, out of breath, “I found Dad.”

“Excellent. Get a spoon, please, so he can take a bite of these candles.”

“I still have no idea what is happening.”

“That’s fine. Just take this video camera and film him, ok?”

(Shameless Plug: If you join my Patreon, they are treated to some hilarious taste-testing videos!)

“Ok. Is that a ‘no’?”

Silence.

“What? What does it taste like?”

“What’s under there?”

“Mayo?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, not so much cranberries with mayo.”

The Verdict: Nope

From The Tasting Notes – 

This would have been really good without the mayo. In fact, when you took a bite of it, it was delicious. Then it was mayo. It completely overwhelmed the cranberry flavor. And that isn’t an easy flavor to mask. Also, I don’t think that there is any reason that mayo is needed to make the candle. You could probably totally leave it out and be fine. I also have a bone to pick with the salad idea. This was very, very filling. I can’t imagine serving this as a first course and then expecting people to eat a holiday meal.

Special thanks to Carolyn for doing all of the work on this one! Your dedication to Hellmann’s is amazing and an inspiration. It makes me want to add mayo to all kinds of crazy crap.

Hope everyone had an okay Thanksgiving! 

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