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Under the Sea Pear Salad

Updated on August 24, 2013
Cast your vote for Retro Jell-O


When talking retro this or retro that, women rush to "ooh" and "aah" about the hair, the lipstick, the day dress, summer dress, wash day dress, play dress, school dress, swing dress, wedding dress--and shoes! Oh darling.

But what about food? No musing over muffin tins? No gushing for bundt cake pans? Jell-O molds? Yes? No? Indifferent?

Aren't you just a little curious about what Marilyn Monroe ate? We get 1950's fashion, poodle skirts, rock n' roll down to a tee (at least, the most of us do) but does anyone else have a hankerin' to know about 1950's food culture? What did women, with her gloves and hat, shop for at the market? What did women, after tying the strings of her gingham apron, cook for Dick and Jane?

Let's serve polka dots for dinner, shall we? .

For starters, an authentic Jell-O salad recipe from the 1950s:

Under the Sea Pear Salad.

This recipe had me at hello, simply because it squealed "1950's Prom" like a girl screaming at an Elvis concert. Woosh! Images of fluffy 1950s prom dresses swarm my mind like a a charade of cotton candy as I reach from the cupboard a box of lime Jell-O . . .


  • 1 can pears, preferably in a retro looking can
  • 1 (3 oz) package lime Jell-O
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 1 TBS. lemon juice
  • 2 packages (3 oz. each) cream cheese
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • For Garnish . . .
  • 1 bag marshmallows, *I used lemon meringue flavored. Swell!
  • 1 bag Peach Rings
  • 1 bag Gummy Bears
  • 1 bag Gummy Sharks
  • Blue food coloring a couple drops will do
  • Optional: Cocktail Umbrellas
  • Imperative: mayonnaise, You heard me. I didn't stutter.
  1. Drain pears, reserving 3/4 C. syrup. Coarsely dice pears while you blare The Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk."
  2. Dissolve Jell-O and salt in boiling water. Add pear syrup, pears, lemon juice.
  3. Pour Jell-O mixture into pan of choice. Throw your sharks into the tank.
  4. Soften cream cheese. Blend in ginger. Tint with blue food coloring.
  5. Once Jell-O has set, spread cream cheese over set Jell-O.
  6. For fun: place gummy bears into peach rings, arrange marshmallows for a beach, poke umbrellas where needed. For a real hair raiser, put mayonnaise in a frosting piping bag, and spell out "Under the Sea."
  7. Ta-Da! Enjoy some glorious retro Jell-O!



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