The Knoxapocalypse is Nigh! Olive Wreath Mold

So I did another gelatin challenge. Do you remember the first one? When I made the Swedish Jellied Veal?  Ah, good times!

Well, me and some of my internet friends decided to test our mettle with another gelatin celebration. And isn’t Labor Day–summer’s last hurrah–the perfect day to serve up some Jell-O salads?

The correct answer is yes.

This time the challenge is bigger, badder, and bolder than the one before–we’ve got 7 participants! And we’re fully international (Canada and UK represent!). So here is the 2013 retro food blog Jell-O challenge.

Or as I like to call it: Knoxapocalypse 2: Electric Jigglydoo

My assignment comes from my girl Retro Ruth over at The Mid-Century Menu. Oh, it’s a goodie!

Olive Wreath Mold

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, 1952

Once I got to the bottom of the list of ingredients I said to myself, “Whipped cream and olives? I hate you, Retro Ruth. I really hate you.”

I guess I really hate Mrs. M.E. Larson of Wheaton, Illinois since this dish is her doing. It’s all her fault, the crazy bitch.

I sometimes wonder, what is it with some of this 1950s shit? I imagine the housewives of America literally throwing things at the wall to see what would stick.

Believe me, with the Jell-O, this dish definitely would stick.


Crushed pineapple, walnuts, celery, and pimientos.

Really, these ingredients have no business being together. All at once. Especially with the lime Jell-O.

Really, these ingredients have no business being together. All at once. Especially with the lime Jell-O.


sliced olives

Can’t forget the olives.
The dish is OLIVE Wreath Mold

So far so good. But the thing is, shredded American cheese doesn’t exist. BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SHRED AMERICAN CHEESE.

Seriously. I bought some knock-off Velveeta and even after putting it in the freezer to harden up a bit, this shit wasn’t going to shred.

I just shoved the cheese through the grater.


It was like a Play-Doh Fun Factory.

I had an issue with the whipped cream. I just did a set-it-and-forget-it thanks to the KitchenAid and I really did forget about it, so my cream started to turn, or um, I guess churn into butter.

KitchenAid fail

Oh well. I just popped on over to the Safeway to get another pint of cream and gave it another go.

That worked out fine so I folded the whipped cream into the Jello/Walnut/Celery/Pimiento/Pineapple/American Cheese concoction and then put it into my ring mold, which I painstakingly dotted with sliced olives.


The recipe says that this dish is perfect to serve at a holiday bridge party. Since I do not play bridge, I brought it over to my pal Manny’s house for a Sunday afternoon kiki.

Kiki. Bridge Party. Same thing.

Behold! Olive Wreath Mold!


The boys (Richard, Keith, and Manny) humored me and gave it a shot.

First bite

First bite!


Well, paint me green and call me Gumby: WE ALL LIKED IT!

That’s not to say that it wasn’t weird. You saw the list of ingredients–but for some odd reason all those disparate items came together. And the variety of textures actually worked for it. Well, except for the American cheese globules. And the olives were unnecessary. They had no right to be there. But since they were just a garnish, they were easily avoidable.

So my apologies to Mrs. M. E. Larson of Wheaton, Illinois. You apparently had some sort of idea of what you were working with. You are not insane, nor a sadist.

We actually ate more than half of the mold!

DSCF5685Miss Pogo, however, was unimpressed.

I wonder how my fellow intrepid retro food bloggers fared in this challenge. Did we all survive the Knoxapocalypse?

Go and find out:

This entry was posted in Food, humor, Jell-O, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to The Knoxapocalypse is Nigh! Olive Wreath Mold

  1. What can I say? It is a thing of great LUMINOSITY! Can I mention the fact that I’m not surprised that YOU liked it, but other people liked it too? Now that’s the surprising bit…

    Now I am gonna watch the movie and find out what a kiki is xx

  2. mamaraby says:

    Lol…it’s the wrong kind of American cheese, though. There’s a firmer block kind that probably would have worked better for the shredding. It’s usually refrigerated or in the deli case (at least it is here in Wisconsin).

    Still….not sure that it would have been any better. 🙂

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  4. Jen says:

    I’ve always wondered about 1950’s housewives…why the “Mrs M E Whatnot”? Why not use your own name? In those days, wasn’t every women named Agnes or Edith or Mary anyhow? And all the men were Robert or John or Thomas? Were you so proud to be married at all that you had to use your husband’s name to show it off? And I pretty much despise all things Jell-O EXCEPT for your posts:)

  5. Libby says:

    OMG this is brilliant!!! How Do I sign up for next year?!? Marking my calendar now…..

  6. Mimi says:

    I love everything about this post. Everything. That picture of everyone taking a bite is priceless! I have a feeling our next blog challenge is going to be even bigger! Let’s invite more! Let’s take over the internets! Mwahahaga!!!!!

  7. Conor Bofin says:

    Another cracker of a post. You do know that I am convinced of your insanity?

  8. sorry we missed it… we need to plan a gathering and you’ll have to make it just for us. xoxo

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  11. This is WONDERFUL, but the in the making pictures of all of it in the bowl remind me of Better off dead, whatever his mom was cooking. I cannot believe it was good! Are there all these hidden recipes that may become extinct because we are scared to force our friends and family to try them (first)?!? I you are all doing VERY important work here. The world NEEDS you right now.

    • Yinzerella says:

      We ARE doing very important work.
      I am very lucky in that I have friends and family who willingly subject themselves to these blasts from the past.
      I’ve been slacking off, but I hope that this challenge has put a fire under my butt.

  12. fifilaru says:

    hope you kept the butter!! As for the mold, er, yummm?

  13. I know you said it was good, but it sounds rather horrifying. it looks rather horrifying as well…

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  15. Erica says:

    It looks like a Jell-O mold sneezed, then decorated the sneeze with sliced olives. I am impressed it was tasty. As always, an excellent and hilarious post 😀

  16. J says:

    “I sometimes wonder, what is it with some of this 1950s shit? I imagine the housewives of America literally throwing things at the wall to see what would stick.”
    My theory is: Those were the days when you had to defrost refrigerators, so frequently you would let the refrigerator contents run down to make the defrosting easier (because nobody wants tons of thawing food sitting out on the counter), and you would be left with a strange assortment of odds and ends to make a meal out of. Also, it wasn’t typical back then for a family to have multiple cars and be able to go shop any time day to replenish the cupboard. They usually had one car and did the shopping on a regular night, and by the end of the week the kitchen would have stray leftovers that had to make a dinner somehow.

  17. Wow. “Olive” the fact that you managed to combine “Let’s Have a Kiki” and “Olive Wreath Mold” into a single post. I have new respect for you, lady.

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  24. Anibanani says:

    This recipe has been a favorite of our family. At least my two sisters and I. Brothers not so much. Our mother used to make this for special occasions. She dies 6 months ago and of course my sisters and I had to have it for the funeral meal. I just made it for a family reunion for tomorrow. It is a weird combination of foods, but a “Comfort Food” non the less for some in my family.

    • yinzerella says:

      There are some things that even if you don’t like it or no one eats it you have to have it just because of tradition.
      Sorry to hear about your mother. 🙁

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