Nana’s cranberry salad

I meant to share this in plenty of time for your holiday celebrations, but I guess it will have to go on the list for next year. This is my grandmother’s recipe for cranberry salad, featured at every Thanksgiving meal as long as I can remember. I believe it was her mother’s recipe to begin with.

Normally I’m not a big promoter of Jello salads, but this one is interesting and it’s really pretty tasty. Of course I changed a bunch of things because I can never leave a recipe alone. But I think it retains its original character. Plus I got to use the grinder attachment on our KitchenAid mixer.

If you don’t have one, you could probably grind the cranberries in a food processor or blender instead. It might also help to make this recipe a day in advance so you have plenty of time to let the flavors meld together and the gelatin to set. It may still be soft, but at least not pure liquid.

Nana's cranberry salad
Serves 8
Old-school Jello salad for your holiday table.
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  1. 2 cups cranberries
  2. 1 large orange, peeled
  3. 1 package strawberry Jello
  4. 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  5. 1 cup apples, grated
  6. 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  7. 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  1. Put the cranberries and orange slices through the grinder attachment on your mixer until they are finely grated.
  2. Add 1 cup sugar to the mixture. (If you have time, let this sit for a few hours or overnight to pull some of the juice out.)
  3. Dissolve Jello in 1 cup boiling water. Add to the cranberry/orange mixture. Mix in the pineapple with all the juice.
  4. Pour everything into your serving dish and refrigerate for an hour or until it starts to set up. At this point, mix in the apples, celery, and nuts. Continue to refrigerate until it's completely set, at least 1 more hour.
Adapted from my grandmother, Helene Hall
Adapted from my grandmother, Helene Hall
Cara Corey